Slain hairdresser Alicia McCallion probably knew the person who used a weapon to cut her body before she died in a sleepout at her family's South Auckland home.
The Herald has learned that police found no sign of forced entry at the Papakura house where Ms McCallion, 23, died on Tuesday night.
She spoke to a family member at 8.30pm that night before going to the sleepout, attached to the Cotton Place house but with an external door, for the night.
Her mother, Millicent McCallion, found her dead in the room about 7.30am on Wednesday.
Police did not reveal the specific injuries Ms McCallion suffered, orthe cause of death, but said she had "injuries caused by a sharp weapon".
It is understood Ms McCallion was badly cut and that police are also investigating whether she was sexually assaulted before she died.
Detective Inspector Mark Gutry said the homicide investigation was still in the initial stages. He said the vast majority of murder victims were known to their killers.
Mrs McCallion and her husband Peter were not staying at the house.
They have already told police they did not hear anything during the night.
Police would also be interviewing others close to Ms McCallion.
"We are following the standard investigation procedure," said Mr Gutry. "This includes interviewing anyone close with Alicia in terms of relationships. We are keeping an open mind as to whether her killer was known to her."
Ms McCallion's body was found beside the door of the sleepout.
Yesterday, 25 officers were working on the case.
Mr Gutry said it was not known what weapon was used to inflict Ms McCallion's fatal injuries.
Police want anyone who saw or heard anything in relation to the killing to contact them on (09) 261-1300. They are especially interested in any activity in the vicinity of Cotton Place, Papakura, between 8pm on Tuesday and 8am on Wednesday. Information can be given anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555-111.