Police are investigating after a body was found in a burnt car in a riverside parking lot in Havelock North.Video/Neil Reid
Police called to a burnt car near Havelock North did not find a body lying inside.
Instead, the body sat in the car for another two days, possibly passed by dozens of recreational walkers and cyclists, before being discovered by the public.
A police spokesman confirmed to Hawke’s Bay today that the car, which was engulfed in fire in the River Rd car park, was initially reported to police around 10am on Saturday.
“Staff were present and due to the condition of the vehicle and debris from the fire, it was not immediately determined that there were human remains in the carriage,” the spokesman said.
“Subsequent inspection of the vehicle revealed suspicious human remains.”
A post-mortem will be conducted on Tuesday and will assist police in identifying the deceased, the spokeswoman said.
The investigation is still in the early stages and staff are working to determine the timeline of the incident and the circumstances of the deaths.
A woman walking her dog in Havelock North told Hawke’s Bay Today on Sunday that she also didn’t know a body was in a burnt vehicle she noticed during the trip.
The River Rd car park is a popular reserve on the Tukituki River, linked to the pedestrian area and the Hawke’s Bay Cycle Path.
The woman, who asked not to be named, said her dog realized something was wrong with the car, but she didn’t think much of it.
“The car looks like it’s been burnt down [shell] The dogs are going crazy,” she said.
On Tuesday morning, police resumed their inspection of the scene, which included officers who were walking through the grass and bushes in the area.
Detective Inspector David DeLonge said in a statement that the body was found in the vehicle in the parking lot on Monday.
Death is seen as unexplained.
“It appears the vehicle that was damaged by the fire has been parked in the reserve for several days.”
“While we view deaths as unexplained, we are still in the early stages of understanding what happened to victims.
“The reserve is a popular area for cyclists and dog walkers, with access to the Tukituki River and adjacent cycle paths.”
Anyone with information to assist the investigation is asked to contact police on 105 and provide incident number P051805886.
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