Police investigating a violent killing in Palmerston North have confirmed the victim had a criminal history.
Sam Badawi was found dead at a flat on Thursday, and police say they have no idea who's responsible.
As a teenager, Badawi made headlines when he escaped from youth prison, armed and dangerous, and his parents pleaded for him to give himself up.
Then last year he made headlines again for being wanted by police. They Tasered him but the Taser didn't work.
Senior Sergeant Craig Sheridan says Badawi died a violent death and police have no idea who killed him or what the motive was, and he's pleading for information.
"I'm probably pleading to people who aren't that comfortable talking to the police, but I urge you to come forward.
"It can be in confidence; it can be to a police officer you already know or your local station," he says.
Badawi also used the surnames Whatuira and Culling, and Snr Sgnt Sheridan says he has no doubt members of the public may know Badawi because his name has been out there before.
Shirley Ann Michefski lives nearby to where Badawi's body was found and is so shaken by the killing that her sister is staying with her.
"[It's] quite freaky actually staying on your own when this has happened in your area."
Snr Sgnt Sheridan says there's a good chance Badawi was killed somewhere else and his body dumped there.
"What we're trying to do is piece together Sam's movements in the area, in the days, hours and possibly weeks leading up to his death," he says.
Badawi's family say they can't believe what's happened, describing his killing as an absolutely horrendous situation.