A year ago, an 11-year-old boy was abducted and sexually assaulted in the West Auckland community of Ranui. As yet there have been no arrests - but police say they don't believe the attack was random.
It was the one of the most horrific events imaginable. A young boy, just 11, abducted and sexually assaulted in a West Auckland suburb.
The hours-long abduction took place on November 17 last year, as the boy left Ranui Train Station around 3.55pm, and began his walk home along Ranui Station Rd.
A short time later he was approached by a man in a grey van and asked for directions, a man who then drove the boy to an unknown location and sexually assaulted him.
The man then drove the boy back to Ranui and let him go.
When the boy failed to arrive home after school, his concerned family contacted police and he was reported as a missing person.
He arrived home at 8pm, four hours after he was first abducted.
The awful event left parents worried about how to protect their children from predators, yet 12 months of complex police investigations have failed to find the man accountable.
Detective Inspector John Sutton, of Waitemata CIB, said a number of highly-trained staff are still involved in the case 12 months on.
Initial police investigations included an urgent alert to all Auckland schools, extra patrols in the area, a look into known child sex offenders, assessment of security camera footage and a public appeal for help which resulted in more than 80 calls to police.
"Subsequent to our initial investigation, we have taken due diligence with a review of the investigation conducted by a Detective Superintendent and a number of additional enquiries have been made," Sutton said.
"A diligent, tenacious approach is taken on child abuse investigations. However, due to a number of complexities they can take a significant period of time to resolve."
He said the victim's welfare remains police's number one priority and they are continuing to support him and his family.
Early reports indicated police were only able to speak with the child on one short occasion due to the traumatic nature of the event and the stress it caused him. It is not known whether police have spoken with him again.
Scant details are known about the man who snatched the boy, apart from the fact he was driving a grey van.
"Police believe at this time it is highly unlikely that this was a random attack and therefore we do not believe there is any cause for alarm in relation to this matter.
"However, in general we always encourage members of the public to be alert, but not alarmed, at all times," Sutton said.
He said although there is a high-level of interest in the case, police are still not in a position to discuss specific details while enquiries are ongoing.
In the wake of the attack many schools in West Auckland reinforced a stranger-danger message to pupils, and reinforced key safety messages.
A number of other reports of children being approached in Auckland were made in the weeks following the incident, but police had no evidence that suggested the incidents were linked.
A Givealittle page was set up for the family, launched by a group called "KiwisUnite", which raised just under $14,000.
The boy's family have not spoken about the incident but an earlier Herald article reported members of the "KiwisUnite" group visited his family late last year and passed on the donations.
"They are very thankful for everyone's support - it has meant a lot to them,'' the group said.
"They are focusing on moving forward together as a family.''
The family said they would spend some of the money on a holiday, while the rest of the funds would be put into a trust fund to help with the boy's education, extra-curricular activities, medical and ongoing counselling costs.
Anyone with information on the abduction and sexually assault is urged to contact Police or CrimeStoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Police advise any member of the public who is the victim of a sexual assault or attack to contact 111 immediately or report the incident as soon as possible at their local police station.