Police are conducting doorknocks throughout the Otautau community today following the alleged murder of a 9-year-old boy in the small Southland town earlier this week.

About five police officers were seen roaming the streets of Otautau this morning as part of the ongoing investigation.

Police were seeking any sightings of a young person who may have been walking along the Aparima riverbank or the main road between Otautau and Fairfax, as well as in the general area of Eton St, Otautau between 6pm and midnight on Wednesday October 30.

A neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, said police had visited his property earlier today to ask if he had seen anyone in the area on Wednesday evening.


However, he only arrived back at his Otautau home at 8.30pm and had not seen a young person in the area, he said.

"I didn't realise something had happened till the next day.

"I looked down the street [on Thursday] and saw all the police and thought, 'oh my god, something has gone down'."

While he was not there at the time of the incident, Otautau was a "small town where everybody knows everything", he said.

He said it had been "extremely" traumatic for the whole community.

A young person was arrested and charged with murder in relation to the death.

That person appeared in Invercargill Youth Court on Thursday and did not enter a plea.

They were remanded in custody until November 19, when they will appear in the Invercargill High Court.


Details about their identity, including their age and sex, were suppressed.