Press Release – New Zealand Police
Police are urging people to tune into Police Ten 7 tomorrow night as we are appealing for public assistance to help solve an investigation into an arson, which led to the death of a man in Mt Roskill on Saturday 9 December, 2017.
Just before 6am on 9 December, 58-year-old Stephen Rhys Ewart died after accidentally setting himself alight at a residential address in Rustic Ave, Mt Roskill.
Police believe he was intending to set fire to a flat in Rustic Ave and made his way from his home in the CBD at approximately 10.45pm on Friday 8 December, arriving in Mt Roskill sometime between 1am-6am in the early hours of Saturday morning.
We do not believe Mr Ewart was acting alone. Police understand he transported a large number of plastic milk bottle containers and petrol to the address and we’d like to hear from any petrol stations that may have sold petrol to Mr Ewart or an associate.
We know he did not drive and would have required help from someone with a vehicle to transport the milk bottles and the petrol as there were very limited buses or trains running between these hours.
He was thought to be reasonably reclusive however we believe he may have had links to the Indian community.
We are appealing to the public for information about Mr Ewart’s movements the morning he died and in the days leading up to the incident.
This type of behaviour was quite out of character for Mr Ewart and we believe there is someone in the community who knows more about his movements.
“Tomorrow on Police Ten 7 we will be releasing further details about this incident,” says Detective Senior Sergeant Glenn Baldwin
“We are hopeful viewers will respond to our plea for more information to help this investigation. We believe there are others involved in this incident and we seek to better understand why he was at the address and trying to set fire to it,” he said.
If you have any information that could help our investigation, please contact Detective Willis, Avondale Police on 021 922 629.
Watch Police Ten 7 at 7.30pm, TVNZ 2, on Thursday 1st November and see how you can help.
If viewers miss Police Ten 7 or want to check the case details again, the segment will be on Police Ten 7 Facebook and Auckland City District Facebook after the programme has screened.