A 15-year-old jointly charged with the murder of a man in the Far North has been recaptured 21 days after escaping from a youth justice facility.
Michael John Biggins, 62, was found in a vehicle crashed in a paddock off Imms Rd on September 27.
He died at the scene, despite the efforts of emergency services.
The incident was initially believed to have been a car crash but police later charged two youths aged 15 and 12 with Biggins' murder.
Yesterday the Herald revealed that the 15-year-old escaped from a North Island youth justice facility run by Oranga Tamariki on December 29.
Deputy chief executive of youth justice services Allan Boreham said the youth escaped at 10.45pm on December 29.
"A full review is being conducted as to how this absconding occurred," he said.
"Our absolute priority is locating this young person and we are working with police to do this."
But OT made no public comment when the teenager was found later in the day.
It is understood he was located in the Wairarapa area.
The Herald sough further comment from OT this morning including why the alleged murderer's recapture was not made known to the public.
"As this is a police matter and it will be before the courts, we are not in a position to comment," said a spokeswoman.
Police could not comment.
The 15-year-old is facing a charge of murdering Biggins using a stabbing/cutting weapon.
He entered a not guilty plea and is set to go to trial at the High Court at Whangārei in March 2023.
The 12-year-old has appeared before the Youth Court.
Neither can be named due to their ages.