Offender in Far North home invasion killing detached breathing tubes of elderly victim - report

  • Updated
  • 03/06/2023

The elderly woman killed during a home invasion in Northland, who reportedly had her breathing tubes detached by the offender she was trying to protect her whānau from, has been named by police.

A homicide probe was launched after the victim, who on Saturday morning was identified as 71-year-old Linda Woods, was seriously injured during a struggle with the intruder in Kaikohe on Thursday night. Despite efforts from emergency services to revive her, she died at the scene.

"We extend our sincere sympathies to Linda's loved ones at this incredibly difficult time," Det Insp Rhys Johnston said in a statement on Saturday.

"Linda lived at the Taraire St property in a home that she shared with four generations of her whānau.

"We continue to support her family as we work to get answers for them and to hold the offender to account."

No one has yet been arrested over the killing.

"A scene examination continues at the property and we are working with urgency to gather necessary information," Johnston said.

"We urge anyone with information, no matter how small, to come forward and speak with us."

Earlier, Woods' niece revealed details about what unfolded during the shocking home invasion.

"He ripped out… those tubes up her nose, the breathing ones," Shianne Maaka told the NZ Herald. "He was beating her up. She took a lot, you know, she took quite a bit of a beating."

Kaikohe reeling 

The Kaikohe community was reeling after the killing, with one nearby resident telling Newshub on Friday it was a "shock to wake up" to.

"Just to hear that it was someone from our street, from our community," said Patsy Lawrence, who was still trying to comprehend what happened.

Another resident who personally knew the victim, community chaplain Monte Tito, said the killing was "devastating".

Far North Mayor Moko Tepania told Newshub he was deeply saddened.

Times had changed from when he was growing up in Kaikohe, he said.

The police investigation into the killing and to locate the offender was ongoing.