The identity of the man whose body was found dumped near a popular lake in rural Canterbury remains a mystery.

A homicide investigation was launched after the discovery of the body near Lake Ellesmere on Drain Rd, Doyleston yesterday.

It is understood the man died a violent death and his body was dumped at the site, Fairfax reported.

His body was found by a group of Filipino fishermen who reported the grim discovery to Christchurch police yesterday morning.


Today police scoured the area looking for clues that would help identify the body and ascertain just how it came to be on the side of a rural road.

Police search the area for clues. Photo / Kurt Bayer
Police search the area for clues. Photo / Kurt Bayer

A police cordon kept media and the public 1km from where the body was found on the no-exit road which ends at the lake.

Officers laid out yellow scene markers and a police photographer took shots of the area.

Specialist search officers in blue boiler suits were spotted searching creeks on Drain Rd for evidence.

Later in the day and more than 26 hours after it was found, the body was removed from the scene by hearse.

Scene examinations are likely to take days.

Farmland on either side of where the unidentified body was found belongs to Garry and Honoria Lamers of Neuways Farm Ltd.

When approached at their Lake Rd property today, a detective was inside speaking to them, and declined to comment.


Another local, who also did not wish to be named, noticed a brown Holden stationwagon twice stop outside his Lake Rd property at the weekend.

It struck him as unusual because it was on a bend.

The first time the car stopped, they spent about five minutes there. The second time was a quick stop and go, he said.

He didn't see the vehicle's occupants.Doyleston local John McCormick said the area was very popular for flounder fishing and game bird shooting.

He was at the lake on Saturday and was dismayed to see fly-tipping had happened in the area with rubbish dumped on the roadside.

The body find was a shock for the community, he said, which was traditionally a tight-knit one until recently with the influx of quake refugees.

One local, Muzz Harris, returned home from a Nelson trip about 8pm last night to a lot of police activity. Mates filled him in on the body find.

"Someone has either dumped a body down my road or someone's been killed there - it's not good, is it," he said.

"We get a bit of thievery going on but most people here are good people. It's usually a great place to be."

Another local, who did not wish to be named, said he'd planned to take his kids canoeing at the lake yesterday morning but went cycling instead.

"Lucky we did otherwise they would've seen [the body], and I sure wouldn't want them seeing that," he said.

Police are expected to release more details tomorrow morning.