WARNING: THIS STORY CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT

The family of a Samoan-Kiwi man brutally killed while holidaying in his motherland say they believe more than one person was involved in his murder.

Simanu'a Manuele, 24, has been sentenced to life imprisonment in Samoa for the murders of Hamilton man Alesana Satele, 69, and local man Pili Tino Lualua, 42.

Their mutilated bodies were found in an outside kitchen in the village of Leulumoega on the morning of Friday, November 23.

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Both men had been struck several times with a weapon later revealed to be a machete and suffered gruesome injuries including the loss of limbs.

The chilling incident is one of the worst cases of crime to have happened in the island nation in recent years.

Police described the scene they were met with as "horrific".

One of Satele's four daughters, New Zealand-based Pina Lissaman, said the family were happy that the man charged with the murders had since been sentenced to a life behind bars.

But discrepancies that arose after they arrived to claim their father's body have led them to believe the man sentenced did not work alone.

Hamilton man Alesana Alex Satele, 69, was one of two men violently murdered in Samoa in November, 2018. Photo / Supplied
Hamilton man Alesana Alex Satele, 69, was one of two men violently murdered in Samoa in November, 2018. Photo / Supplied

Witnesses told the family they saw a different man driving into their property around the time it is thought the victims were killed on Thursday, November 22 - the night before the victims' bodies were found.

A conversation one of Satele's daughters in New Zealand happened to be having with Lualua, the other man killed, via Facebook messenger that evening abruptly stopped just before 7pm.

The last message sent by Lualua, at 6.45pm, was a short video showing Satele seated at a table in the outside kitchen his body would be found in hours later.

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A packet of two-minute noodles sits on the table just to his left.

Simanu'a Manuele, 24, has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the murders of Samoan-NZ man Alesana Satele, 69, and Pili Tino Lualua, 42. Photo / Supplied
Simanu'a Manuele, 24, has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the murders of Samoan-NZ man Alesana Satele, 69, and Pili Tino Lualua, 42. Photo / Supplied

"The last video she showed us of those two - they were sitting opposite each other at a big square table," Lissaman said.

"That's kind of the position that they were found murdered in.

"I kept thinking: 'How does he chop one guy and then go and chop the other without somebody doing something? At least one of them reacting'?"

The way the bodies had been found was odd in that it seemingly showed whoever was attacked last did not react to the first man being attacked, Lissaman said.

Members of the village of Falefa present a traditional Samoan apology to the people of Leulumoega, where two men were murdered in November, 2018. Photo / Supplied
Members of the village of Falefa present a traditional Samoan apology to the people of Leulumoega, where two men were murdered in November, 2018. Photo / Supplied

"The other guy, his neck was almost severed through and then his leg was cut.

"From the angle that my father was hit, it looked like he was blocking - [using] his hand -the back of his head. His hand was chopped off and his head was chopped down.

"That's why I was thinking, how can one guy - that guy - do both of that at one time, without one person standing up or running away or anything?"

Both the video footage and the report from witnesses that a different man to that charged was seen at the property were presented to Samoan authorities.

The Herald has approached Samoa Police for comment around the family's claims.

Manuele, of the villages of Falefa and Toamua-Uta, was sentenced to life imprisonment last week after pleading guilty to both charges of murder against him.

Lissaman said she hoped justice has been served, but acknowledged she could not shake the feeling that things had yet to be fully resolved.

"It's not going to bring dad back,'' she said.

"But there's just so many things that don't add up. Obviously, I can't do anything. But I feel he's taken the rap for something.

"For me, I'm glad he has life - but I just don't know what that means.''