Man found dead with burns, woman injured by stabbing in Palmerston North house

News from NZ Police
A man was found dead and a woman was critically injured at a Russell Street property in Palmerston North early yesterday evening.

Police were notified just before 7pm after members of the public heard yelling from the address. The Armed Offenders Squad was called.

Officer in charge of the Manawatu CIB, Detective Senior Sergeant Craig Sheridan says: “It’s difficult to piece together what has happened at this stage; however officers are speaking to witnesses at the property and others in the neighbourhood. It’s too early to determine what has caused the injuries to both the man and the woman and what weapons were involved.”

The address has been cleared and police are not looking for anyone else.

The woman has been transported by ambulance to Palmerston North Hospital and is in a critical condition.

“Our priorities this evening are securing the scene overnight so we can conduct a thorough scene examination in the next 24 hours. We will also be working to determine the dynamic between the people who live at the address,” says Detective Senior Sergeant Craig Sheridan.

UPDATE from NZ Police
Palmerston North Police have this morning launched a scene examination at a Russell Street property where a man was found dead and a woman critically injured yesterday evening. The address is occupied by a large family of Chinese descent and the deceased man aged in his late 60s, and the injured woman aged in her mid 30s, are members of this family. It is believed that some children were in the property at the time of the incident.

“The deceased man has been badly burnt and one of our priorities today is removing his body from the scene so we can conduct a post-mortem. Because of the extensive burns to his body it is likely to take considerable time to formally identify him,” says officer in charge of the Manawatu CIB, Detective Senior Sergeant Craig Sheridan.

“We have established that the woman has received stab wounds to her face and upper body and late yesterday evening she underwent surgery. She is in a serious but non-life threatening condition. It is anticipated she will be in hospital for some time.

“Our focus over the next 48 hours is to conduct a thorough scene examination and to locate any weapons. Another key focus for us is determining the series of events that led up to this tragic incident and understanding the family dynamic.

“English is not the family’s first language and we have sourced a translator so we can communicate effectively as the investigation progresses. Our inquiries will take some time as we have a significant number of people to speak to.”

A team of 10 officers are working on the scene today as well as conducting area inquiries and speaking to witnesses.

“I want to thank residents in the area for their understanding and support as we go about our work. This has been a horrific time for the family and they are completely devastated at what has happened. Officers are working closely with the family and in the coming days we will formally interview them. We hope to hand back the property to the family as soon as possible. At this stage we have not spoken to the injured woman as her well-being is paramount. Plans will be made to speak to her once she is in a stable condition.”

There is no record of previous police attendance at this address and police are not seeking anyone else in relation to this investigation.

“We are working closely with the Coroner on this investigation and once we have a clearer picture of what has happened we will present this information to them,” says Detective Senior Sergeant Craig Sheridan.

Police will not release any further details about the deceased until a formal ID has been conducted and next of kin has been informed.


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