Waihi Beach stabbing victim dies; 30 police working on homicide investigation

News from NZ Police
The man who was stabbed at Waihi Beach on New Year’s Day has died in hospital yesterday. The police are now investigating a homicide.

Detective Inspector Chris Page of the Waikato CIB said 64-year-old Robert Murray Wilkinson, a visitor from Queensland, died in the Intensive Care Unit of Waikato Hospital. He had been stabbed outside a caravan early on Tuesday morning.

“As a result of this latest development what was an investigation into a stabbing is now a homicide investigation and a post-mortem examination will be conducted in Auckland to try and determine the cause of his death.

“To that end over 30 staff are working on the enquiry including officers from across the Waikato and staff from Counties Manukau, Auckland and Bay of Plenty Police Districts.”

Mr Page said a forensic examination was conducted and a scene examination is continuing at the address where the incident happened.

“In addition to that, officers who had been engaged on the area canvas are now carrying out various area searches as we seek to identify and locate the object used to cause Mr Wilkinson’s injuries.”

“Another major part of our enquiries is identifying who was in the area before and after Tuesday’s attack. We are requesting images taken from the area during New Year’s celebrations be sent to Police and we would like to repeat that request.”

Mr Page said it wasn’t necessarily the person whose photo was taken Police are interested in.

“You will probably know that person, it’s the people who may be in the background or off to the side we are interested in. If you took images between 12.30am-1am on Tuesday morning around where Mr Wilkinson was attacked, please send them to Thames@police.govt.nz with the names of whoever you can identify in the picture.

“Lastly we would appeal to the offender and/or their associates. This matter is now a homicide investigation and can be resolved by the persons involved making contact with us or our team locating them. We ask that if you know who was involved or were involved you make contact with Police.”

Information for the Operation Brad Homicide team can be left with Police on 07 858 6200 or via email at Thames@police.govt.nz. Alternatively information can be left anonymously with Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Earlier News from NZ Police – January 3
The investigation into how a visitor from Queensland was critically stabbed in Waihi Beach on New Year’s Day is now in its third day. Waikato Police are keen to hear from anyone who may have images on their cellphones, i-pads or i-pods of people celebrating New Year’s around the surf club, camping ground, Beach Road, Hinemoa Road and Oceanview Road between 12.30-1.30am.

Eastern Waikato Area Commander, Inspector Dana McDonald, said with the Police’s national focus on victims, the Operation Brad investigation involves a whole of policing approach.

“We’re grateful staff from outside the District who were working here on summer policing have put their hand up to stay on to assist with our investigation just as we are pleased to see additional staff coming over today.

“That gratitude also extends to all the members of the public who have made contact with Police after seeing appeals for information in the media or from passing our temporary Police station opposite the scene on the corner of Beach and Oceanview Roads.”

While investigators have a lot of information to work through that has already come in from the public they are still keen to hear from anyone who may have seen something happen around 25 Beach Rd around 1am on Tuesday morning.

“If you have any images, we would like you to email them to Police along with your consent for us to use them to our investigation team at Thames@police.govt.nz”

Mr McDonald said given the advantages of modern technology it isn’t inconceivable that Police could identify, through images provided from the public, the majority of people present in the area around the time of the attack.

The 64-year-old man injured in the attack remains in a critical condition in Waikato Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit this morning.

Read earlier reports here