A car covered in blood, the driver partially decapitated, and all the police had to go on was a generic description of an assailant inflicting the fatal wound and snatching a cellphone.
The only witness, other than the mystery knifeman, was Davender Singh's wife, 32-year-old Amandeep Kaur.
At a press conference the following morning police said they were unable to interview her because of her "distressed state".
Detective Inspector Dave Lynch wanted information on the murder weapon and any people who had driven past the parked car on Norman Spencer Drive.
Just hours later, they had much more.
While Kaur told officers about the attacker approaching and fleeing on foot, officers had managed to find grainy CCTV footage from the Waka Pacific bus depot beside where the car was parked.
Right at the top of the screen, almost obscured by the video's date and time, they watched Davender Singh pull up.
Though it was dark and little else could be seen apart from the shape of the vehicle and its lights, another car could be seen parking behind it shortly afterwards.
Within eight minutes that car left.
It was 27-year-old Gurjinder Singh -- the man with whom Kaur had been having an affair for several months.
When confronted with the footage she changed her story and fingered him as the killer.
Today in the High Court at Auckland the two lovers were found guilty of murdering 35-year-old Davender Singh.
Only 24 hours after the murder the two suspects were in separate interview rooms telling very different stories.
Gurjinder Singh sat back in his chair, relaxed as he told officers about a visit to the mall with his wife on the night in question, coffee and a muffin on the way to Mission Bay later.
Kaur was his colleague at Sistema plastics plant in Penrose, the pair drove forklifts together, he said, nothing more.
Meanwhile, she had put the responsibility for the stabbing squarely at his feet.
When police told him of their new information it all began to unravel.
Police allowed Gurjinder Singh to speak to his wife, Jasmeen Kaur. He told her he was being framed.
Finally -- with a warning they were being filmed -- Amandeep Kaur and Gurjinder Singh were reunited for the first time since they watched blood spray from Davender Singh's neck.
Initially each seemed keen to shoulder the blame but within minutes they turned on each other.
"Don't you love me any more?" Gurjinder Singh asked, exasperated when she refused to admit any role in the attack.
Keen to convince the police he was not lying, he told them about some notes.
Yes, he told Kaur, he had "kept them all".
Directing police to a compartment under his steering wheel and the boot of his car, as well as his locker at work, dozens of handwritten communications over the previous three weeks were discovered.
The anatomy of a murderous plot was revealed.
In the Auckland District Court for the last four and a half weeks, those notes -- written in Hindi, English and Punjabi -- were one of the pillars of the Crown's case.
The defendants tried to provide alternative meanings behind the translated messages but they were too damning.
The similarity between the apparent plan in the notes and the grisly death of Davender Singh was too stark to explain away.
Most of them were written by Kaur but her words were just as incriminating for her co-accused.
Though the notes were not dated, the Crown said they provided a narrative of the three weeks after the affair had been discovered.
On July 11 last year, Gurjinder Singh's wife found evidence on his Facebook page about the sordid relationship and immediately informed Davender Singh.
During two months of the affair, phone data obtained by the Crown showed more than 1200 texts and phone calls had been exchanged between the workmates.
Once they were rumbled, electronic communication stopped immediately and the letter writing began.
Under cross-examination, Kaur and Gurjinder Singh each accepted their relationship was intense.
In one of Gurjinder Singh's rare notes he told his lover to "take off your wedding necklace. My heart eagerly wants to talk to you".
But the prosecution said the deadly plan was hatched when Kaur began telling him about her husband's violent tendencies.
She repeatedly wrote about the beatings and even said she was worried Davender Singh might kill her.
It was enough to spur Gurjinder Singh into action.
Kaur and her husband would often stop to talk in their car because they lived with flatmates and had little privacy at the Papatoetoe home.
The initial plan, according to the Crown, was that Gurjinder Singh would wait in one of the areas they frequented while his lover would try to lure Davender Singh there.
But it did not work.
Unknowingly, Davender Singh dodged death several times simply by driving straight home.
And so they decided it would be easier if Gurjinder Singh followed them as they left work and pulled over wherever they did.
On the night of August 7 the plan finally worked.
Davender Singh suffered 13 wounds, including defence cuts to his hands, but it was the 15cm slash across his neck that cut almost completely through his windpipe that killed him.
It was likely, the Crown said, that Gurjinder Singh wielded the knife while Kaur held him down, but ultimately it did not matter.
"This was calculated, callous, premeditated murder done for love," prosecutor Natalie Walker said.
6 KEY PIECES OF EVIDENCE AGAINST GURJINDER SINGH, ACCORDING TO THE CROWN
He made various confessions during a police interview including, "I did not kill him alone".
2. Car's lights:
CCTV footage showed the lights of Davender Singh's Honda Torneo were turned off after Gurjinder Singh had pulled over and was approaching, which showed he could not have been dead before then.
The only print found on the knife was that of Gurjinder Singh's right little finger.
His fingerless work gloves were found at his Papatoetoe house soaked in blood, when he claimed to have only handled the knife briefly in the aftermath.
Gurjinder Singh had a jagged cut on his thumb, which he said happened at work, resulting in his blood being left at the crime scene. No incident report was filled out or first aid sought at work.
Initially he lied during police interviews about his relationship with Kaur and then about his presence at the scene.
7 KEY PIECES OF EVIDENCE AGAINST AMANDEEP KAUR, ACCORDING TO THE CROWN
1. Two-minute wait:
After Gurjinder Singh left the scene, she waited in the car for two minutes before getting out and making a phone call. The delay gave her lover a chance to get away while her husband bled to death.
2. Phone call:
Rather than calling an ambulance the first person she called was a friend. If she had reconciled with her husband as she said, she would have done anything to keep him alive.
3. Fake robbery:
Kaur told those first on the scene that a stranger had stolen her husband's phone and stabbed him. If that story had not been pre-arranged with Gurjinder Singh, it would have been extraordinarily quick thinking to come up with it on the spot.
4. The notes:
There is nothing in any of the notes that hints at her withdrawal from the plan or the relationship.
Even knowing Gurjinder Singh had a bad temper, Kaur said nothing to warn Davender Singh as he approached the car, or while they talked.
6. Police interviews:
Never told them that there was a plan to kill her husband from which she withdrew. It only came out at trial.
7. Phone records:
Nothing changed after the so-called reconciliation. She was still receiving about 10 calls a day from her husband "checking up on her" and he was still regularly speaking to Gurjinder Singh's wife about the affair.
Both defendants spent about three days in the witness box but while giving evidence their views clashed on almost everything of substance. Before sending the jury to deliberate, Justice Graham Lang remarked on the huge differences between their stories: "It's difficult to think of a case where issues of credibility loom so large as in this case."
• According to Kaur: Gurjinder Singh was in love with her to such a degree that when she told him about the beatings her husband dealt out, he made a throat-slitting gesture. He was the driving force behind the plan to kill and showed clear frustration through their handwritten notes when the plan did not work at the first few attempts.
• According to Singh: Kaur was stuck in an arranged "loveless" marriage and was using him as a vehicle to escape it. She hooked him in with sexually-explicit text messages and bombarded him with notes while at work. She continually stressed the grave violence Davender Singh used against her in a bid to garner his sympathy. She called him her "first and last love" and asked him whether he would accept her son as his own.
• According to Kaur: There was a plan to kill Davender Singh shortly after their affair had been discovered, while he was beating her daily, reflected in the notes. But she reconciled with her husband just before his death after a 45-minute discussion and a trip to the Takanini Sikh temple to pray for their relationship. She then called off the hit on her husband and wrote a note to Gurjinder Singh asking to finish their relationship because it was "too hard".
• According to Gurjinder Singh: All but a couple of the notes were written by Kaur, so it provides a very one-sided view. The mentions of South Auckland roads were not areas they were planning for the murder to take place. He wanted to talk to Davender Singh about the violence he inflicted against his wife and to reassure him nothing was going on between them any more.
• According to Kaur: She and her husband pulled over to talk on Norman Spencer Drive, something they did regularly because they had little privacy at home. When Gurjinder Singh approached, she kept her head down and played on her phone while the men talked. Her lover began stabbing her husband and as she tried to intervene she sustained a cut to her hand. She did not call emergency services because she did not trust them and it was clear her husband was dead.
• According to Gurjinder Singh: He was worried about Kaur after her claims of domestic violence and drove around in search of their car. When he found it, he parked behind and approached the driver's window where he saw Davender Singh with his throat slashed. He asked Kaur what she had done and she threatened to tell police he was responsible if he did not dispose of some evidence. The knife was given to him wrapped in his jacket and he only found out when he had got home.
THE POLICE INTERVIEWS
• According to Kaur: She initially said it was a stranger who robbed them, to protect her and her husband's reputation. The existence of the affair would bring great shame on their respective families regardless of her innocence in the killing. Any mistakes she made could be attributed to the fact she was grilled by police for hours.
• According to Gurjinder Singh: He made confessions about them both stabbing Davender Singh because he had been questioned by the police at length and just wanted it to stop. The interviews went well into the early hours of the morning and at times were conducted without an interpreter. His broken-English answers could not be relied upon as evidence.