A man believed to have killed his ex-wife and her new partner has been tracked to a private residence in Vaimaanga, Rarotonga.
Chris Rimamotu, 41, escaped custody on Wednesday night, while out doing community work. He is serving a seven-year sentence for the abduction and sexual assault of a six-year-old girl in 2014.
Cook Islands police say they have started negotiating with Rimamotu, who is alone and reportedly armed with a .22 rifle.
Mana Aeikura from the Little Polynesian Resort told Newshub most of the police activity is in the village of Vaimaanga, on the southern tip of the island.
"Police have found him, and have him cornered at the moment. Everyone is just being told to stay away from the area, but otherwise it's business as usual."
Police say no shots have been fired, contrary to what witnesses had claimed, and reports he had a nine-year-old child with him were also false.
Residents were previously warned not to approach Rimamotu, stay inside and not to answer the door if strangers come knocking.
Chris Rimamotu (Cook Islands Police)