Police are appealing for information about a man in their investigation into a body found buried in a remote part of the central North Island after a tip-off.

The victim has not been formally identified, but police have announced they are looking for information about Bao Chang Wang, known as Ricky.

They say his movements are unknown since 2017.

"Mr Wang is a Chinese National and New Zealand permanent resident. His family
believed he had travelled overseas in 2017 and he was not reported as missing
in New Zealand," said Detective Inspector John Sutton today.

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He said police have been in contact with his family in New Zealand and in China to make sure he did not leave NZ under a different identity.

Police are searching a West Auckland property linked to a man whose remains were found buried off the Desert Rd. Photo / Dean Purcell
Police are searching a West Auckland property linked to a man whose remains were found buried off the Desert Rd. Photo / Dean Purcell

Anyone with information is asked to call 0508 RANGIPO (0508 726
447).

Sutton said Mandarin-speaking officers would also be available to talk to members of the public.

Information can also be made anonymously by phoning Crimestoppers on 0800 555
111 – referencing "Ricky Wang".

"As the formal identification process for the human remains is still ongoing,
police are not in a position to confirm the identity of the deceased," said Sutton.

The remains were uncovered last week near Rangipo Intake Rd, off Desert Rd in the central North Island, after police received information that led them to have "grave fears" for a person.

A police spokesperson said last week the remains appeared to have been "in place for a period of time".

This week they said they believed the dead man was Chinese, aged in his early 30s "whose whereabouts have been unaccounted for since 2017".

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On Tuesday police began searching a property in Massey, West Auckland, in relation to the investigation.

The current owners do not have any connection to the investigation but the property is linked to the dead man.

Sutton said detectives, ESR and photographers were searching the McWhirters Farm Lane property.


The Herald understands officers are looking for evidence that the victim was killed there.

Sutton refused to be drawn on the identity of the victim.

"The address that is the subject of the scene examination was recently sold to a family [who] are not in any way connected to this investigation," he said.

"They have been relocated by police for the duration of the scene examination and are being provided with the appropriate support and assistance."

Property advertisements show the 4-bedroom house was sold in October last year.

The previous owners have not responded to the Herald.