Kylee Guy's privately funded search for her husband's cold-blooded killer has ended because of a lack of cash.
Ewen Macdonald, who was charged and eventually found not guilty of Scott Guy's killing, could be released from prison as early as next month when he appears before the Parole Board.
And even if he is denied parole, the terms of Macdonald's five-year jail sentence for property offences and other crimes mean he is due to be released on April 6 next year.
Farmer and 31-year-old father-of-two Scott Guy was gunned down on the driveway of his Feilding farm on July 8, 2010.
Nine months later Macdonald, Guy's brother-in-law and business partner, was charged with murder. But in July 2012 a jury in the Wellington High Court found him not guilty.
Afterwards police admitted they had no other suspects.
Two months later Macdonald was found guilty of damage to Scott and Kylee's property and other crimes and jailed for five years.
The Sensible Sentencing Trust, working on behalf of Kylee, also approached four private investigators in a bid to find Scott's killer and bring them to justice.
This week a member of the PI team, Mike Crawford, revealed the hunt had been dropped.
"The investigation has basically stopped. It's finished," he said.
Kylee Guy did not want to comment to the
Herald on Sunday
but former trust spokeswoman Ruth Money confirmed a lack of funds had curtailed the bid.
"Sadly, they've [PIs] stopped because there's no more funding," Money said. "The family can only spend so much."
This week marks a year since the PI team revealed they had sent data gleaned from Scott Guy's cellphone to expert analysts in the UK, which they hoped might help identify his killer.
At the time, Crawford said investigating officers had overlooked some of the cellphone data. The team also thought they may have uncovered evidence suggesting the killer may have had an accomplice.
Crawford said yesterday the results from the UK testing proved inconclusive. "We were probably too short on information to do anything," he said. "The bottom line is it didn't really take us anywhere."
The hunt for Scott's killer remains one of New Zealand's highest-profile cold cases.
More than five years on from his slaying, Money called on police investigators to put "a fresh pair of eyes" over the case.
A spokesman from Police National HQ confirmed no officers were actively involved in the hunt for Guy's killer although the investigation was still open.
Should any further reliable new information come to light, the police would assess it and, if necessary, resume the investigation, he said.
"It is not unusual for new information to become available to police in these open cases as people's allegiances and memories change."
"We continue to invite anyone who thinks they may be able to assist to contact police either directly or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111," he said.
The New Zealand Parole Board confirmed to the Herald on Sunday that Macdonald was expected to appear before them in the week beginning October 12.