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Gang factor not ruled out in Dunedin park killing

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The site of the Eglinton Rd incident. Photo / Peter Mcintosh, ODT

Police investigating the brutal death of a Dunedin man at a suburban lookout say they cannot rule out gang involvement in the death.

Detective Senior Sergeant Nik Leigh said the homicide investigation was complicated but progress was being made.

Mr Buis died at Unity Park about 7.30pm on Thursday last week.

Det Snr Sgt Leigh said the investigation had to be meticulous and police were going through the process of ruling people in or out.

There was no evidence to suggest Mr Buis was assaulted before his death, Det Snr Sgt Leigh said.

“I don’t know where that came from,” he said.

Last Friday a police statement said officers were called to Unity Park the night before following reports a man had been assaulted and run over by a vehicle.

The Otago Daily Times understands a witness, who was with Mr Buis at the time of his death, has disputed the reports that an assault happened.

Det Snr Sgt Leigh said tyre tracks on the grass at Unity Park near the scene of Mr Buis’ death did not appear to be related.

“As I understand it those tyre tracks have been there prior to the incident,” he said.

Other tyre marks were being investigated in relation to vehicles of interest and one of the focuses of the investigation was determining how many were involved.

There were multiple vehicles around the lookout on the night Mr Buis died, as it was an area people frequented and Eglinton Rd was a popular thoroughfare.

Investigators were working to determine what vehicles were related to the incident and were working through positive lines of inquiry, Det Snr Sgt Leigh said.

That the death was gang-related could not be ruled out, but it was also too early in the investigation for it to be conclusively ruled in, he said.

It was one of a number of things investigators were looking at.

Any potential witnesses who might have been in the area about the time of Mr Buis’ death were still being urged to come forward if they had not already.

There were people in the community who knew exactly what had happened, and Det Snr Sgt Leigh wanted them to come forward.

At the end of the day, Mr Buis was a son, a family member and a friend of people in the community, he said.

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