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BOP murder victim the “epitome of joy and love”

A 20-year-old man has been arrested and charged with murder.

Police are now in a position to release the name of a woman who died in the Bay of Plenty in the weekend.

A homicide investigation was launched following the death of Michelle Kaipara.

She was 49-years-old and from Kawerau, says a police spokesperson.

"Police extend our sympathies to Michelle’s loved ones at this difficult time.

"A homicide investigation into the circumstances of her death is ongoing."

A 20-year-old man is next due to appear in the Tauranga District Court later today charged with murder and an unrelated assault.

"Our whānau is devastated," says a family spokesperson.

"Michelle was the epitome of joy and love, and she will be sorely missed.

"Her memory lives on in her tamariki who are suffering severely at this time.

"We send our heartfelt thanks to each and every person for the outpouring of love, acts of kindness and empathy shown to our whānau.

"We grieve with you as we remember the beautiful lady Michelle was and the lovely memories she’s left etched on our minds and in our hearts.

"We ask media to respect our wishes not to provide any further comment especially in relation to Michelle’s death as the matter is before the courts.

"A funeral service will be held this week in Te Teko to farewell our darling mother, sister, daughter, cousin, aunty, niece and friend.

"Details are available on the Te Tangi Pānui Page on Facebook."

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