Homicide investigation into Te Atatu death

Cunxiu Tian (Supplied)
Cunxiu Tian (Supplied)

Police are appealing to the community of Te Atatu Peninsula to help with the investigation into the death of an elderly woman last night.

Police began a homicide investigation after 69-year-old Cunxiu Tian was found dead by her daughter and son-in-law in unexplained circumstances around 5:30pm in her own home on Glenvil Ln.

Neighbours told media last night that an ambulance, armed police, dog squads and a helicopter swarmed the area, causing a lockdown of the street.

Police remain at the scene today, and armed police are still manning the cordoned area.

They have described the death as "a shocking tragedy" and say the family are "absolutely devastated"; however, they assure there is no specific evidence that there is wider risk to the community.

Police have already obtained CCTV footage from around the address, and ask anyone else with CCTV footage from the "tightknit" community to come forward.

Police say it is "far too early to speculate" on the cause of her death. A burglary is one probe but they are "keeping an open mind as the investigation has gone forward".

A post-mortem has been conducted, and police are waiting on pathology results for the cause of the death.

Police say the cordoned scene is "a very, very large area".

Neighbours say their street is usually a quiet, safe neighbourhood, with a lot of families and retirees living in the area. The cul-de-sac is said to be a popular place for local children to ride their bikes.

Cunxiu Tian was a mother and grandmother, and lived in the Clenvil Ln property with her son-in-law and daughter.

The property is near a walkway popular with runners, and residents say they won't be changing their activities as they still believe it's a safe place to live.

Meanwhile police have been going door-to-door talking to local residents as well as searching backyards of neighbouring properties.

No has been put in custody yet.

Police have set up a number – 0800 772 271 – for people to provide information to the Operation Nepal homicide investigation team, or people can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Anyone who saw people or vehicles on the street or the surrounding area is urged to get in contact with Henderson police on (09) 839 0600.

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