The remains of a man murdered 82 years ago, which had been part of a back-room Police Museum collection used for investigative training, will be buried alongside his wife today.

Samuel Pender Lakey and his wife, Christobel were murdered at their Ruawaro farm near Huntly in October 1933, sparking an intensive homicide investigation.

Western Waikato Area Commander, Inspector Naila Hassan said the use of forensic evidence in the investigation was ground-breaking at the time.

"The Crown was able to prove that the couple's neighbour William Alfred Bayley murdered the couple and tried to stage things to appear that the deaths were a murder-suicide.


"But his plan was thwarted by neighbours who went to investigate why the couple's cows hadn't been milked that morning. They discovered Christobel's body and it was established she had suffered a heavy blow to her face and her head had been held underwater in the duck pond."

Two days later, investigators found evidence of Mr Lakey's murder.

"Human remains and bits of clothing were found in Bayley's garden, bloodstains were found on his sledge and guns missing from the Lakey home were located in a swamp on Bayley's farm.

"This and other evidence helped establish the murderer had shot Samuel Lakey and burned his body in a drum. Bayley was convicted for the double murder and hanged at Mt Eden Prison on July 20, 1934."

Because the victims had no known relatives, Mrs Lakey was buried in an unmarked grave in Huntly, while her husband's remains became part of police's investigative and forensic training exhibits collection.

When forensic advancements meant that the collection was no longer required they were stored as back room exhibits before current NZ Police Museum curator, Rowan Carroll, commenced a three-year-long repatriation project.

In situations where there are no known descendants, police place memorial plaques over graves - which they have done for the Lakeys.

Ms Hassan said the museum had 37 sets of human remains, the last acquired in 1957.


Today's ceremony will take place at 10am at the Huntly cemetery.