News from NZ Police
A post mortem has now been completed following the death of 18-year-old Jovaan Graham who was found outside Pohlen Hospital in Matamata early yesterday morning. Interim results indicate that Jovaan died immediately at the scene of the collision on SH29.
Arrangements are now being made to return the young woman to her family.
The investigation into yesterday’s incidents is continuing.
News from NZ Police – April 3
The woman found dead outside Pohlen Hospital in Matamata early this morning was 18-year-old Jovaan Rahera Graham from Tauranga. Her body was found by security staff around 4am. Police are working on the belief that she was struck by a car on SH29. The driver of the vehicle was then abducted and assaulted prior to the woman’s body being left outside the hospital. A post mortem is expected to confirm how she died.
A media appeal for sightings of a stolen Nissan and the Toyota Prado involved in the crash and abduction has resulted in a positive public response. A number of people have come forward with relevant information but police are still keen to hear from two trucks drivers who were travelling along SH29 at approximately 3am when the victim of the abduction attempted to flag them down.
Earlier news from NZ Police
A woman found dead outside the Pohlen Hospital in Matamata early this morning is believed to be an 18-year-old woman from Tauranga. Police in Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Auckland are working together to establish a firm link between separate events in the three Districts.
What police have established is that a 32-year-old Tauranga man was driving his silver Toyota Prado along SH29 in the Kaimai Ranges at approximately 3am. He struck a person who was on the road and immediately stopped his vehicle. He was then pulled from his vehicle and assaulted before being placed back into his Toyota and abducted. At one point the Toyota stopped and the victim escaped and raised the alarm. He underwent hospital treatment for head injuries but has since been released.
At 4am security staff discovered the body of a woman outside the Pohlen Hospital in Matamata. At approximately 4.30am police in Auckland contacted Bay of Plenty to report that the silver Toyota Prado had been recovered in the Papakura area and they had arrested a man and a woman for unlawfully being on a property.
At the scene of the abduction on SH29 police have located a silver Nissan Wingroad stationwagon which was stolen from Tauranga Hospital some time yesterday and appears to have broken down.
Detective Senior Sergeant Lew Warner said: “There is still a fair bit of work to be done and there will need to be a post mortem to establish exactly when and how the young woman found in Matamata died. However at this stage we are working on the belief that a chain of events began when the stolen station wagon broke down or ran out of petrol in the Kaimai Ranges leaving the offenders stranded.
“The woman has a number of injuries and we need to wait until the conclusion of the post mortem before we can establish definitively whether she was the person who was struck by the Toyota on SH29.”
Police are keen to hear from anyone travelling between Tauranga, Matamata and Auckland early this morning who saw the silver Toyota Prado. Police are also interested in the movements of the silver Nissan stationwagon in the Central North Island since yesterday afternoon.
The abduction victim has told police that two truck and trailer units passed by while they were still at the scene on SH29 and he tried to wave them down. Police are appealing for those drivers to come forward.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Tauranga Police on 07 577 4300. Alternatively information can be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
Police are in contact with the dead woman’s family but no name will be issued until formal identification processes have been completed.
Earlier News from NZ Police
A woman’s body was found outside the Pohlen Hospital in Matamata this morning. Police in Bay of Plenty are liaising with colleagues in Waikato to establish whether there is a link between the body in Matamata and an abduction and assault in Tauranga.
The woman’s body was found by hospital security in Rawhiti Avenue at approximately 4am.
At approximately 3am a man driving a vehicle on SH29 Kaimai Ranges was abducted by a man and a woman. He was assaulted, but managed to escape from the offenders’ vehicle and is receiving medical treatment.
A man and a woman are currently in custody having been arrested in South Auckland for being unlawfully on a property.
It is very early in the investigation but police are investigating a possible link between the three events.
This is the only information available at this time. A further update will be issued once more information is known.