A young mother has shared her frightening brush with death after a man accused of murdering a tourist in Raglan allegedly attempted to hijack her car on Friday afternoon.
In the early hours of Friday morning, it's alleged the man attempted to steal the campervan 33-year-old Australian national Sean McKinnon and his fiancée, 32-year-old Bianca Buckley, were sleeping in.
McKinnon was shot dead, but Buckley managed to escape, fleeing to a nearby home where she called police.
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His alleged killer remained on the run for the rest of the day, and now stories are emerging from those that encountered him.
A young mother who saw him hitchhiking while she was in the car with her child told 7 News she was aware of the events earlier that morning before he allegedly tried to carjack her.
"When he started to be quite forceful and tried to get into my car I thought 'no this is dodgy I need to get out of here," she told 7 News.
The man then approached Whitikahu School on the outskirts of Hamilton to ask for directions, according to a post on a local Facebook page.
"He was walking funny and said he had chafing, he was fiddling with something under his jacket," wrote one woman.
"He then asked what the roads around the area were called and said he was going to his brothers farm but when asked he did not know where his brothers farm was or what road."
After his botched attempt to carjack the mother and child, he allegedly attempted to enter another vehicle.
"He was holding his hand under his jacket and fiddling quite a bit, so he could have had the weapon with him," one woman told The AM Show.
The campervan was discovered approximately 5 hours later at Gordonton. Inside the van lay McKinnon's body.
The 23-year-old man accused of killing McKinnon was located by police at 11pm on Friday at a rural address in Waikato. He has been charged with murder, aggravated robbery, and threatening to kill.
Although the man is in custody, police are still appealing for information to piece together the events of Friday.
Anyone who may have seen a man hitchhiking in the Gordonton-Whitikahu area on Friday is asked to contact police.
They are particularly interested in dashcam footage from the daylight hours.
The weapon used in the homicide has not been recovered.