Homi­cide in­quiry launched af­ter man’s body iden­ti­fied

Otago Daily Times - - FRONT PAGE - STAFF RE­PORTER

PO­LICE have launched a homi­cide in­quiry into the death of an Otau­tau man.

De­tec­tive Se­nior Sergeant Stu­art Har­vey said yes­ter­day po­lice had iden­ti­fied a body found in the Long­wood forestry block as that of Dale Tama

Watene (40). A post­mortem had been car­ried out, he said.

‘‘The in­ves­ti­ga­tion team has con­ducted ex­ten­sive in­quiries over the past few weeks in the search for Mr Watene,’’ Det Snr Sgt Har­vey said.

Fam­ily and friends of Mr Watene de­clined to com­ment yes­ter­day.

Mr Watene went miss­ing from Otau­tau on April 16.

Po­lice searched var­i­ous ar­eas in Otau­tau and Tu­at­a­pere for weeks, and also com­pleted an ex­ten­sive search in the Long­wood forestry area last week­end.

Mr Watene’s friend Adam McColl told the Otago Daily

Times fam­ily and friends of the miss­ing man had been pre­par­ing them­selves for the worst, but the news yes­ter­day a body had been found was ‘‘heart­break­ing’’.

‘‘Hon­estly, Dale was a re­ally good per­son. He was loyal, a hard worker and a good fa­ther. He was the kind of guy who you could trust,’’ Mr McColl said.

‘‘He had his bad points — as ev­ery­one does — but he was a good guy in gen­eral.’’

Det Snr Sgt Har­vey said po­lice were con­tin­u­ing to sup­port Mr Watene’s fam­ily.

„ In­ver­cargill po­lice (03) 211­0400 or Crimestop­pers 0800 555­111.

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