Linda Woods homicide: Police speaking to 'person of interest' in hunt for Northland woman's killer

Police are speaking to a "person of interest" in the case of the Northland woman who was killed in a home invasion last week.

Detective Inspector Rhys Johnston, of Northland, said police executed a search warrant at an address in Taraire Street, Kaikohe - the same street where Linda Woods died. 

"Police are currently speaking with a person of interest," Johnston said.

"We recognise the public's interest in this case and we will continue to provide updates on any developments."

A Newshub reporter at the scene said the cordoned off house is just doors down from Woods' property.

Linda Woods homicide: Police speaking to 'person of interest' in hunt for Northland woman's killer
Photo credit: Newshub

Linda Woods was seriously injured during a struggle with the intruder at around 11:30pm on Thursday, June 1. Despite efforts from emergency services, she died at the scene.

It's believed the home invasion started as "sexually motivated burglary" and police said the suspect was discovered hiding in one of the occupant's bedrooms before fleeing the scene on foot, leaving behind some shoes and clothing.

It comes after Johnston said officers were going door-to-door to collect DNA samples.

On Monday, it was revealed police had collected a DNA profile from the scene believed to be linked to the offender. 

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

"They've lost their loved one, their nana, but they are a fantastic family," Johnston said on Tuesday. "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."

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

He said Woods' death has shaken the community.

"This is a fairly major crime for a small community like this and the community is really feeling it," he told AM. 

"What we'd ask is people consider Linda and her whānau and help us resolve this case and bring some peace back to our local community."