The mother of a woman brutally slain in an execution-style killing at her Upper Hutt flat has claimed police have multiple people willing to testify who murdered her.

Tomorrow it will be one year since Lois Tolley was shot at point-blank range and stabbed in her Wallaceville flat. As yet, nobody has been arrested.

But her mother, Cathrine MacDonald, has a message for the killers: "The police know who you are."

"All I can say is they will be caught," she told the Herald. "The police have no doubt about that and [neither] do we."


MacDonald said police had told her multiple people had come forward with evidence as to who the murderers were, and some had signed statements and were prepared to go to court.

The people providing alibis for the killers would be charged with perverting the course of justice for protecting them, she claimed.

The police said that because of operational reasons they would not confirm whether the claims were true, but Detective Senior Sergeant Glenn Barnett is expected to talk to media about the case today.

A year on, the pain of her daughter's death is still raw for MacDonald.

"It is so hard for us ... we miss Loie so much. My husband and I are so broken."

MacDonald said Tolley's family and friends were "so devastated over what they have done, taking one beautiful, caring daughter, sister, auntie and friend".

Flowers at the scene in Upper Hutt house where Lois Tolley was found murdered. Photo / Georgia Nelson
Flowers at the scene in Upper Hutt house where Lois Tolley was found murdered. Photo / Georgia Nelson

Tolley was "very much loved by so many".

"We can't get through this. It is so hard."


Police confirmed earlier this year that at least four people were involved in the homicide, which happened just after midnight on December 9 last year.

A group of four males were captured on CCTV camera fleeing the scene.

As the attackers escaped, one of them was heard swearing and yelling, "Oh my God, what have we done?"

A neighbour in the block of flats next to Tolley's found her body. She had heard Tolley screaming.

The neighbours have been trying to find somewhere new to live since then but haven't had any luck.

This week, describing that night and what life has been like for her in the year since, the word she keeps repeating is "traumatising".

The flat on Ward St, Upper Hutt. Photo / Mark Mitchell
The flat on Ward St, Upper Hutt. Photo / Mark Mitchell

"Me and my partner were the ones who called the police," said the woman, who doesn't want to be named for safety reasons.

"We heard the screaming. I came out here and I said to my partner, 'Babe, call the ... cops.'"

She claims that one of the men saw her and began walking towards their flat, saying, "Who the f*** are you?"

When the woman's partner came outside the man returned to the group, and they later fled.

"I was traumatised," the woman said. "Me and my partner, we couldn't sleep at all. My partner went down and, like, found her body.

"My partner doesn't like leaving me at home at night by myself, he doesn't go out with his friends or anything. I don't let him walk alone at night."

The woman said the killers "should just come forward and give the community and her family peace of mind".

Helen Curry, who now lives in the flat where the horror unfolded, said loved ones were coming over on Saturday to hold a memorial.

"A couple of girls want to maybe make a plaque thing on this tree on the side of the house," she said.

Curry said life has been "normal" for her since moving into the house, though she plans to move out soon as it was never meant to be long-term accommodation for her and her family.

"I just hope that they have some progress, probably what everyone is thinking, in finding the people. The family and friends will be able to move on."

On the streets of Upper Hutt, locals are hoping for closure for Tolley's friends and family.

"It's a tragedy, isn't it? I just feel like that must be so awful for loved ones, that they don't know what happened to her," Stacey Agnew said.

Liz McKellar said she had been talking about the case with her co-workers the other day.

"It's very sad ... have [police] got any idea or haven't they got enough evidence? This is what I'm sort of thinking. You sort of just hope that there will be some development."

Jenny Murison said it was "not too good" no one had been arrested.

"I think they know who did it, they just need to get the evidence."

Robert Bryan said the murder happened just around the corner from his house, though he didn't hear anything. He said more police staff were needed, but he did not feel unsafe.

"This is not Beirut. New Zealand is a pretty safe country. Your chances of being killed by an intruder are far less than your chances of being wiped out in a road accident."

One man, who wanted to be known only as Jason, said people would know who the killers were so it was a matter of "breaking the silence".

"I'm disgusted, to be honest. What a waste of a life, you know?"

Provide information to the Operation Archer police team on 04 560 2600, or to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.