Linda Woods homicide: Police going door-to-door as search for killer stretches into fifth day

The grandchildren of the woman killed in a home invasion are "extremely traumatised", police say as the search for the alleged killer stretches into its fifth day.  

Linda Woods was seriously injured during a struggle with the intruder at around 11:30pm on Thursday. Despite efforts from emergency services, she died at the scene.

Police believe the home invasion started as "sexually motivated burglary" and say the suspect was discovered hiding in one of the occupant's bedrooms.

They have launched a homicide investigation and are looking for a man who fled the Taraire Street address on foot, leaving behind some shoes and clothing.

Police have also collected a DNA profile from the scene believed to be linked to the offender. Detective Inspector Rhys Johnston of Northland CIB said police are confident they will identify the offender "at some point".

Johnston told AM on Tuesday officers are also going door-to-door to collect DNA samples. 

"We will concentrate our efforts on nominations from the community. So we'll go door to door," Johnston told AM co-host Ryan Bridge. 

"We're not asking anyone to come to the police station and volunteer, we'll come out and see them in the community." 

He told the show they can use websites like to help match the DNA, but are yet to do so, as that is used for cold cases. 

Woods' family is hanging in there in difficult circumstances, but her grandchildren are "extremely traumatised", Johnston said.

"They're extremely traumatised, they've lost their loved one, their nana, but they are a fantastic family.

"They've been so good to us and helping us with our investigation. My heart goes out to them for their loss, but also I commend them for not only their bravery on the night but their resilience since then."

Detective Inspector Rhys Johnston of Northland CIB.
Detective Inspector Rhys Johnston of Northland CIB. Photo credit: AM

Johnston wouldn't go into details about the way Woods died but said she was "quite vulnerable", as she is older and a dialysis patient.   

He said the offender "most likely" came from Kaikohe and the key to locating and identifying him is with help from the community.

"We don't assume anything, but it's most likely a local person. So the public's help with giving us a steer from all the identification information we've provided, that would be great," he said. 

Johnston believes there is a chance someone within the Kaikohe community knows who the offender is but hasn't come forward. 

"It isn't a great size town, but it's a tight-knit community and the key to it is from the community," he told AM. 

"You've got a lot of really good information and it's great to see that you're showing the photos of the clothing again and that's going to ring bells with someone. So we really need them to come forward and give us a call."

Johnston had a simple message for anyone who had information about Woods' killer. 

"I just want them to think of Linda's whānau, the hurt they're feeling and the community is feeling. We'd really like to bring some peace back to Kaikohe," he said.

The image of the offender.
The image of the offender. Photo credit: NZ Police / Supplied

The clothing left at the scene includes size US13 New Balance Versi Comfort Ride sneakers, colour dark grey and black, along with grey/faded black cut-off jean shorts, with a button fly made up of black buttons that include a 'B' shaped logo.

He is described as male, Māori or Polynesian, aged somewhere between 40-60 years old, and is solidly built.

He has dark-coloured short hair speckled with grey, possibly curly.

Along with the shorts, he was wearing a dark-coloured basketball-style singlet, with thin red and white piping around the sleeves and collar.

He was wearing another short-sleeved top under the singlet.

The shorts he left behind.
The shorts he left behind. Photo credit: NZ Police / Supplied

"Please contact police with any information via our dedicated phone number, 0800 LINDAW (0800 546329)," Det Insp Johnston said.

"We have members of the investigation team ready to speak with you."

Information can also be shared by calling 105, or can be shared anonymously through Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

Watch the full interview with Rhys Johnston in the video above.