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Opotiki homicide: motorist sought

Police are investigating the murder of a woman in Opotiki. Supplied photo.

Police investigating the death of an Opotiki woman want to speak to a motorist who picked up a hitchhiker between Te Kaha Medical Centre and Waihau Bay.

The woman was killed in Opotiki on February 19.

Police say the hitchhiker was picked up on the same day as the woman’s murder. 

“We believe that a motorist picked up a young Māori man hitchhiking between the medical centre and Waihau Bay, sometime between midday and 5pm,” says Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Standen.

“We’d like to hear from that motorist, or from anyone who saw a hitchhiker fitting that description in the area during that time.” 

Police have charged a 27-year-old Opotiki man with murder in relation to her death. 

He is remanded in custody and is scheduled to reappear in Tauranga High Court on 14 March 2018.  

“We are extremely grateful to the Opotiki and Te Kaha communities, as well as the wider Eastern Bay of Plenty region, for the assistance and information they have provided the investigation team to date.

"This enabled a quick arrest, which has brought some relief to Alicia’s whānau.” 

If you can help with our ongoing enquiries into the woman’s death, please contact Detective Sergeant Darren Thomas at Whakatane Police on 07 308 5255.

Information can also be provided via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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