Regional | Homicide

DNA breakthrough in Kaikohe homicide investigation

Police investigating the death of a Kaikohe grandmother last week believe they have made a breakthrough after collecting a DNA profile from the scene that is believed to be linked to the offender.

Linda Woods, 71, died on Thursday night at the Taraire St home she shared with members of her whānau. Police were called to the address after reports of an intruder was found inside the house.

"This is a significant piece of evidence, and allows us to begin a new phase of our investigation," says Detective Inspector Rhys Johnston of Northland CIB.

"We are determined to find this offender so we can get some answers for the victim's family and put the community's minds at rest.

"Police are now making plans to request DNA samples from men who fit the age range and description of the offender so we can eliminate them from our enquiries."

Johnson is urging the alleged offender to come forward as soon as possible.

"We are confident we will identify you at some point.

"You can lessen the impact of your actions by coming forward now.

"It's the right thing to do for this family, who have already suffered so much.

"It's the right thing to do for our community, who are rightly alarmed after this incident."

Members of the community who recognise the description of the offender or the clothing left at the scene, or know him from the image shared yesterday, are being urged to also come forward.

Police say the alleged intruder left his shoes behind after fleeing the Taraire St address on Thursday. photo/nzpolice

Over the weekend, investigators said they believed the attack started as a sexually motivated burglary. A description of the man and items of clothing left behind were also released, including size US13 black and grey New Balance Versi Comfort Ride sneakers and grey/faded black cut-off jean shorts with a button fly made up of black buttons that include a "B" shaped logo.

He is described as male, Māori or Polynesian, aged somewhere between 40-60 years old, and is of solid build.

He has dark-coloured short hair speckled with grey, possibly curly.

Along with the shorts, he wore a dark-coloured basketball-style singlet, with thin red and white piping around the sleeves and collar.

Anybody who recognises these shorts is asked to come forward. photo/nzpolice

He was wearing another short-sleeved top under the singlet.

Police have set up a dedicated phone number for people to contact with information 0800 LINDAW (0800 546329). Alternatively, the 105 phone number is available if the 0800 number is busy, or contact Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

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