Mystery still surrounds woman's body fished out of Gulf Harbour

  • 30/03/2024

Police still haven't released the identity of a woman's body that was fished out of Gulf Harbour over two weeks ago. 

The body, wrapped in black bin liners, was reeled out of Gulf Harbour by Paul Middleton while he was fishing on March 12. 

He described the bag as heavy but easy to move and decided to investigate. 

"[I] took the hook out and thought, 'Right, let's see if it's a bag of rubbish and I need to dump it in a rubbish bin or something,'" he told RNZ. 

He struggled through "layer and layer" of plastic to open the bag and "lo and behold, a hand appears".  

He told RNZ it looked "like a Halloween-type hand". 

On March 14 police said they had identified the body as that of an Asian woman. 

Acting Detective Inspector Tim Williams of Waitematā said at the time a homicide investigation had been launched and were asking the public for assistance to identify the body.   

Williams said a post-mortem examination had been completed and Police provided some details about the victim.   

"At this stage, we have not been able to confirm the identity of the victim, but we can say they are a female of Asian-descent, possibly Chinese, and small in stature," Williams said.  

"Police are asking anyone who may have information on a woman matching the description who they have concerns for to please get in touch."  

Williams said the priority of police is to identify the body and notify the victim's next of kin while also investigating what led to the woman's death.  

On March 15 police revealed more details about the woman. 

Acting Detective Inspector Tim Williams said she was around 160cm tall and wearing blue pyjama bottoms and a singlet. He would not confirm her age but said she was not a child nor a teenager.

"These are blue pyjama pants with a distinct pattern on them, and a brand's emblem on a light-coloured singlet," Det Insp Williams said.

"We hope that in releasing these images someone will come forward with information on who this victim might be."

He said she was wrapped in "black plastic clean sacks". 

Police confirmed to Newshub on Saturday there was no update and none were anticipated over the Easter weekend.