Kaikohe home invasion started as 'sexually motivated' burglary - police

Sun, Jun 4
A man sought by police following a fatal home invasion in Kaikohe.

A home invasion which ended with the death of a woman in Kaikohe on Thursday was believed to have been a "sexually motivated burglary", police say.

Linda Woods, 71, had been trying to help other family members in a struggle with the offender inside the Taraire St home around 11.30pm on Thursday when she was seriously injured, Detective Inspector Rhys Johnston said yesterday.

Woods died at the scene.

Police said the belief the incident is sexually motivated is due to "a few key pieces of evidence gathered over the past few days", as well as the home's occupants all being women.

"We anticipate the offender has targeted the property for this reason."

Police said the man was discovered hiding in one of the bedrooms of the women.

The victims at the Taraire St home "were determined not to let this offender get away and held onto him, attempting to block his exit".

The man fled the scene without his jean shorts or shoes.

Police have today released an image of the man - taken from a video of the incident which had been filmed by the victims - in order to identify him.

'Pattern of odd occurrences'

Family gather at Kaikohe crime scene.

The occupants said there was a "a pattern of odd occurrences at the property in the lead-up to the incident", including "clothing being discovered disturbed and interference with sensor lights and porch light bulbs".

Another incident was reported at the home last year involving "someone reaching in through a bedroom window", police said.

A connection between the previous incident and the fatal home invasion "cannot be ruled out".

Police commended the bravery of the family involved, as well as the "courage and resilience they have shown ever since while assisting us in our investigation".

"Our support for them will continue at this unimaginably difficult time," police said.

"We know this information is going to cause alarm to the community and we want to reassure you that our primary focus is locating this offender as soon as possible."

She had been trying to help other family members inside the home when she was killed on Thursday.

Police are asking the community to "remain alert" and to come forward with information or any similar disturbances at their properties which have not been reported to police.

"We also believe someone in the community will know the offender.

"We need you to hear this message – please, come forward, and share what you know."

Police said the man "will have returned to his home late in Thursday night without his jean shorts or size US13 shoes".

"His behaviour may have been noticeably different after this incident."

Anyone with information can contact investigators by calling 0800 LINDAW (0800 546329), or anonymously through Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.


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