Man arrested, charged with murder three years after victim’s disappearance

News from NZ Police
Police investigating the death of Whanganui man Brett Hall have today charged a man with his murder.

The 49-year-old Manawatü man appeared in the Whanganui District Court today. He was granted interim name suppression and has been remanded in custody. He will reappear in the Whanganui High Court on 14 July.

Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Kirby, officer in charge of the investigation says: “This has been an extremely difficult inquiry but I know the investigation team never gave up trying. Recent developments as well as information obtained from our inquiries and public appeals resulted in the arrest and charge.”

“I want to thank the public and media for helping us with our numerous appeals for information.”

Brett went missing from his farm property up the Whanganui River in late May 2011. Police conducted an extensive homicide investigation and search phase into his disappearance with over 30 detectives from the Lower North Island working on the case.

“While we have made an arrest this does not signal the end of our investigation.

“We have further inquires to make and a prosecution to prepare but this is a major breakthrough and from the outset the investigation team has been determined to give some peace and closure to Brett’s family, ” says Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Kirby.

News from NZ Police – June 23
After three years of no indication where Whanganui man Brett Hall may be, his mother has made a plea to anyone who knows his whereabouts to come forward and help bring some closure to the constant emotional strain his family suffers.

“It has been three years since my son was taken from me. It is getting worse every year. I wish to God they would just give me Brett back. All we want is some closure and someone to tell us where he is. This is not much to ask for,” says Lee Hall, Brett’s mother.

Brett went missing from his farm property up the Whanganui River in late May 2011. An extensive search involving over 80 NZ Army and Police staff and Search and Rescue (SAR) personnel searched his property and the surrounding bush without finding him.

Police also conducted an extensive homicide investigation into his disappearance with over 30 detectives from the Lower North Island working on the case.

Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Kirby, officer in charge of the investigation says: “Over 100 people were spoken to during the early part of the investigation which was centred on Brett’s friends and associates.”

“Brett has not been located and police believe he has been murdered and his body dumped or buried somewhere.

“Somebody knows where his body is and one call to Crimestoppers is all that is needed to help us bring some much needed closure to Mr Hall’s family,” says Detective Senior Sergeant Kirby.

News from NZ Police – June 13 2011
As Police continue to try to find missing Brett Hall, an 0800 number and an email address have been set up to enable people to pass information direct to the investigation team.

Approximately 80 people spent the weekend searching a 16 square kilometre area of Whanganui around Mr Hall’s Pitangi Track property. This included cliff rescue experts abseiling into the areas that searchers had previously been unable to reach on foot. There is still no sign of Mr Hall or any indication that he is in that area.

The search coordinators are now reviewing the work they’ve carried out over the last 12 days to decide if there are any further searches that can assist the inquiry.

Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Kirby: “After such large-scale searching the possibility that he has had an accident in the area has become incredibly remote. The foul play scenario, either at the property or elsewhere, has become increasingly likely.”

A phone number has now been set up so that members of the public with information about Mr Hall can speak direct to a member of the investigation team. That number is 0800 PITANGI ( 0800 7482 644 ). An email address has also been set up which is pitangi@police.govt.nz. Texts can be sent to 0272 475843 .

 

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