By SCOTT INGLIS
Detectives have recovered what they believe are the remains of Keith London, who went bush after killing his partner nearly seven months ago in Auckland.
A man on a rough Waitakere Ranges track, off Scenic Drive in West Auckland, stumbled across the decomposing remains just before midday yesterday.
A .22-calibre rifle and three beer cans were found with the body.
The discovery - if confirmed by a formal identification today - is another chapter in the sad tale of the killing of 32-year-old New Lynn woman Alison Aris.
London disappeared after he shot Ms Aris in the head at pointblank range in the couple's Arahoe Rd home on June 27.
Ms Aris, a chef and mother, had told friends she was leaving London for a new life.
She was shot while picking up some of her belongings.
London had been reportedly bingeing on alcohol.
A man fitting London's description was seen wandering drunkenly in bush near Scenic Drive at 11 on the night of the murder.
He approached a group of people asking for directions to Spraggs Bush, where his car was later found.
Police had assumed that London shot himself somewhere in the Waitakeres but were never sure.
Yesterday, the remains were found in the same area in which his car had been dumped. A group of Henderson detectives retrieved the body mid-afternoon.
Detective Inspector Alan Collin, the West Auckland CIB commander, said the firearm and clothing found on the body were similar to those London was wearing when he disappeared.
The body was found in a red jersey and jeans.
A post-mortem examination today should confirm the identity.
There will also be ballistic tests to confirm that the .22 rifle found with the body was the one used to kill Ms Aris.
There was no obvious sign of a cause of death.
The London and Aris families have been told.
London's father, Roy London, told the Herald he had believed his son was dead since he vanished.
"It's a relief to know where he is ... It's just a matter of living with it.
"After a period of time, you do come to accept these things.
"He was very sick when he went up there and we knew he wouldn't come out alive," Mr London said.
"We knew that right from the word go."
Ms Aris left behind a daughter, Siobhan, who was aged 2 at the time.
29 June 2000:
"http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?thesection=news&thesubsection=&storyID=141927">Hunt in hills for victim's partner
By SCOTT INGLIS