Police have found the Nissan Terrano they believe was involved in the murder of a Ngaruawahia man at McLaren Falls.

Detective Inspector Graham Pitkethley said they were now seeking sightings of the car between Hamilton and the falls around the time Mitchell Paterson was killed.

He also confirmed Paterson, 26, was beaten to death before his body was found in water under the McLaren Falls bridge.

He appealed for sightings of the vehicle between Hamilton and the McLaren Falls area between Wednesday July 11 and Friday July 13.

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He said every day police were getting closer to making arrests on three gang-related murders in the Waikato.

Organised crime and gangs were an ongoing problem in the Waikato and across the country, Pitkethley said at a press conference.

Huntly man Wayne Noda was the first hit. He was found dead in his Berryman Access Rd home on Saturday June 30.

Pitkethley yesterday confirmed Noda died from being beaten and they were now looking for only one of the two vehicles of interest.

The occupants of a silver SUV seen on Victoria St, Hamilton, near Bryce St, about 6.30pm on the day of his death had come forward and been spoken to.

However, they were still keen to find a 2001 Nissan Skyline, registration KAM195.

It's understood Noda wasn't in deep with the gangs but he has associates who are.

Mitchell Paterson, 26, was beaten to death before his body was found in water under the McLaren Falls bridge. Photo / Jared Savage
Mitchell Paterson, 26, was beaten to death before his body was found in water under the McLaren Falls bridge. Photo / Jared Savage

When Robert Nelson was shot dead in the house of his partner Kahlee Marfell, protecting her from a flurry of bullets, people wondered if perhaps the shooting was connected to Noda's death.

Marfell lived at the Matthews Cres, Melville, home with her senior Mongrel Mob gang member dad Mark "Griff" Griffiths.

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He was also home but was able to stay safe in his bedroom which was further down the hallway.

His 17-year-old nephew was shot four times, a relative told the Herald, twice in the torso, once in the head and also in the shoulder, after three gunmen knocked at the front door asking if "Mark" was home.

The teen is still fighting for his life in Auckland Hospital.

Marfell was shot in the side of the upper thigh. The gunman either used a high-powered rifle or he got close as the bullet went through one thigh, coming to rest in the other.

She was discharged from hospital last week.

There was a fire at the Melville house late last Friday night. Pitkethley confirmed there had been a "significant" amount of damage but he couldn't be drawn on where it started.

A third person, Mitchell Paterson, was found dead at McLaren Falls on Friday morning.
His body was recovered from under the bridge and police are seeking sightings of suspicious activity from the day before.

Police said he was killed after a "physical assault".

There have been three arrests, although only one allegedly directly linked to a murder.

How to help

Call investigation team at Hamilton police on (07) 858 6200. Information can be left with Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.