The family of a man found dead outside a block of flats in Palmerston North have issued a brief statement, saying they are finding it difficult to comprehend the killing.
The body of Samuel Peter Culling, 26, also known as Samuel Badawi or Samuel Whatuira, was found by a member of the public outside Taieri Court about 7.30am on Thursday.
Police say he died violently and it is possible he was killed elsewhere and dumped there.
Today they issued a statement on behalf of the Culling family, who are requesting their privacy be respected.
"The family are lost for words at the moment, we truly cannot believe this has happened to our Sam.
"It's an absolutely horrendous situation and so difficult to fathom," they say.
They thanked the people supporting them with thoughts and prayers.
Police are urging anyone who saw anything suspicious in the West Street area of Palmerston North between 10pm on Wednesday and 7am on Thursday to contact them.
A blessing and karakia has been performed at the death scene and a search of the wider area has been completed.