Police release photo, new details about homicide victim John Isaac, whose body was pulled from Waikato River

Police have revealed 53-year-old homicide victim John Isaac had connections to the criminal underworld in his earlier years.  

On Thursday, Detective Inspector Darrell Harpur provided an update to the media on the investigation into the discovery of Isaac's body in the Waikato River on January 18. 

Police told Newshub yesterday that Isaac suffered a "violent death" sometime in the afternoon of last Thursday before his body was dumped in the river after 3:30pm. He was later found by a member of the public at 6:30pm near the Ngāruawāhia boat ramp. 

Police have now released a photo of Isaac and provided more details of his final days.

John Isaac.
John Isaac. Photo credit: Supplied

"He was last seen around 3pm on Wednesday 17 January 2024, wearing black cargo pants and a green T-shirt with a print of a gasmask while shopping on Avalon Drive, Nawton," Detective Inspector Harpur said. 

Isaac made two visits to the Avalon Drive store to make purchases, but the detective inspector wouldn't reveal what he bought.

Newshub understands Isaac had links to the Mongrel Mob but was not a patched member.

His tangi was held in Tītahi Bay on Wednesday and his whānau is being supported by police and Victim Support. 

"Somebody out there knows who is responsible for this, and exactly what happened. We urge them to come forward and tell police what they know." 

Police are continuing to call for information from anyone who saw anything unusual or suspicious on the banks of the Waikato River, anywhere from Hamilton CBD to Ngāruawāhia on the afternoon of January 18.

"We believe some people will also have photos or videos from recreational activity in the river and the surrounding areas, we ask that you reach out to Police to provide anything that can assist." 

Anyone with information is asked to call 105, or make a report online at 105.police.govt.nz by clicking 'Update Report' and referencing file number 240119/8775.

Anyone with footage can provide it to police here: https://angelo.nc3.govt.nz/.

Information can also be provided anonymously to CrimeStoppers by calling 0800 555 111.