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Manurewa murder: workers fear safety after a woman’s body was found nearby




The woman’s body was found at an address in South Auckland at 4.30pm on Saturday. Video / Hayden Woodward

Employees at a Warehouse distribution center in Auckland felt unsafe this week leaving work after dark after a woman’s body was found nearby.

Police launched a murder investigation after the body was found near McVilly St in Manurewa around 4:30 PM on Saturday, Sept. 11.

Police say the woman was in her late teens or early 20s and has been identified and her next of kin notified. Her identity has not yet been released by police.

Today there was no sign of police – or that there was an ongoing investigation – on McVilly Rd. It was largely deserted and quiet, with no indication that an alleged crime had taken place just four days earlier.

The dead-end, narrow road is surrounded by an industrial area that borders the neighboring suburb of Wiri.

Homai train station is half way across from the Blind and Low Vision Education Network and near the Manurewa table tennis club.

A woman's body was found on McVilly Rd, Manurewa, on the afternoon of September 11.  Photo / NZME
A woman’s body was found on McVilly Rd, Manurewa, on the afternoon of September 11. Photo / NZME

Across the track is a mosque, Masjid Baitul Muqeet, and at the end of the road a lawn abuts the Warehouse Northern Distribution Center in Wiri.

This area is indicated as private property owned by the warehouse, and where a number of employees entered the site by the Herald.

A worker told the Herald that he has been monitoring the area since the woman’s body was found, and earlier today chased away two men who were drinking there because some staff members felt unsafe.

He said he was walking to Homai train station with a colleague after they ended a shift around 7:30pm last night because they were feeling restless.

The Warehouse Group has been contacted for comment regarding the security concerns.

Workers have felt unsafe taking a train from Homai station in Auckland's Manurewa, after a woman's body was found nearby.  Photo / NZME
Workers have felt unsafe taking a train from Homai station in Auckland’s Manurewa, after a woman’s body was found nearby. Photo / NZME

Opposite McVilly St, on the corner of Browns Rd and Russell Rd, is a convenience store and laundromat in a row of shops.

The owner of Palm Super Mart told the Herald that police had visited the store yesterday to request CCTV footage, but he had not placed any cameras outside the building.

He said there is normally a guard at the train station, but they finish work when the last train is scheduled shortly after midnight.

Next door at a laundromat, a staff member said they saw two or three cars on McVilly Rd yesterday with people dressed in black. The laundromat also received a visit from the police in recent days.

On the opposite corner of Russell Rd, another dairy farmer said police had also requested CCTV footage from them, but his outside camera was not pointing in the direction of McVilly Rd.

He said it was “a little scary” to hear that a murder investigation had been launched. He told the Herald that he had owned his shop for six years and had no previous problems in the area.

A resident of Russell Rd told the Herald he was also surprised and saddened to learn of the woman’s death. He often walks from his house to the Homai train station, but says he is not concerned for his safety.

He has lived in Manurewa for over 50 years and said he was “baffled” at the increase in crime in the area.

Police said there was no update on the murder investigation today and the investigation was ongoing.

On Monday, a local investigation on McVilly Rd and a post-mortem investigation was completed.

“The community can be reassured that the police are working hard to establish the facts surrounding her death and will hold everyone responsible to account,” Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Hayward said Monday.

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