Police have found the body of missing Waiuku man Lance John Murphy.

A 51-year-old man, also from Waiuku, has been charged with murder and will appear in the Manukau District Court this morning.

Mr Murphy was last seen at the BP service station in Warkworth on November 21. Five days later police found his car at a property just 2km away.

Mr Murphy's blood was found in the car.


The Herald can reveal that Mr Murphy's body was found in a field at a rural property near Wellsford over the weekend.

His body was not hidden.

The hunt for a second man believed to be connected to Mr Murphy's disappearance is ongoing.

Steven Brent Gunbie, 37, lived at the property where Mr Murphy's car was found. He is well known to police and wanted for failing to appear in court on a driving charge.

Police say he has access to firearms and should not be approached.

A source said the connection between Mr Murphy, the murder accused and Gunbie was still unclear.

Lance Murphy's blood was found in his abandoned car. Photo / Supplied
Lance Murphy's blood was found in his abandoned car. Photo / Supplied

The murder-accused was also known to police.

The Herald understands Mr Murphy's death is being investigated as a drug deal gone wrong.



If you know where Steven Gunbie is or have information about the death of Lance Murphy contact the Operation COSMOS investigation team at 0508 422 443. To pass on information anonymously, call Crime stoppers on 0800 555 111.