NZ Local News

‘You reap what you sow’: Family member of slain teen’s message to killer

Editor Written by Editor · 3 min read >


Police return to the scene of the body-in-car discovery in the Hawke’s Bay homicide investigation. Video / Supplied

As loved ones prepare to farewell slain Hawke’s Bay teen Ariki Rigby, her cousin and a well-known Hawke’s Bay pastor has told whoever is responsible for the 18-year-old’s death that “you reap what you sow”.

Ariki will be farewelled with a “celebration of life” ceremony in Hastings tomorrow – just under two weeks since a car in which her body had been shoved in behind the driver’s seat was torched in a carpark on the outskirts of Havelock North.

Motorbike riders have been invited to meet at the Mobile service station on Taradale Rd, Napier, about 9am to escort Ariki and her family to the funeral. The ride has been dubbed “Aroha for Ariki”.

Earlier today, her family released a statement saying the teen would be “forever loved and missed”, while also urging anyone with information about “this very horrendous situation” to contact police.

Her cousin, Flaxmere-based pastor Michael Ngahuka – who is the official family spokesperson – has also published a lengthy post on social media about how in life “you reap what you sow”.

Red balloons and a small bunch of flowers have been erected at the centre of the homicide scene by Ariki Rigby's family. Photo / Neil Reid
Red balloons and a small bunch of flowers have been erected at the centre of the homicide scene by Ariki Rigby’s family. Photo / Neil Reid

The post also features a picture of his beloved younger relative, with the words: “My little cousin – to whomever did this, you reap what you sow. I pray God is merciful to you.”

The 18-year-old’s body was found by a dog walker in a burnt-out car in rural Havelock North carpark on September 5 – two days after police had initially checked out the wreck.

At first the case was treated as an “unexplained death”, before being upgraded to a homicide investigation late last week.

Police confirmed on Tuesday that the body of a woman found in a car which had been torched in the Riverside Road Recreational Reserve’s gravel carpark was that of teenaged Ariki.

Officers were first alerted to the wreck on the morning of Saturday September 3, but they did not realise that burned remains inside it were those of a human; instead believing they were of an animal.

Floral tributes lay at the spot Ariki Rigby's body was found in a burnt out car on the outskirts of Havelock North. Photo / Neil Reid
Floral tributes lay at the spot Ariki Rigby’s body was found in a burnt out car on the outskirts of Havelock North. Photo / Neil Reid

A dog walker who had a closer look at the car two days later realised they were human and called police.

In a statement released today, the family paid tribute to the slain teen.

“Firstly on behalf of our beautiful girl Ariki Rigby and her big family we would like to thank everyone for their heartfelt prayers of support and uplift, their messages of love and condolences,” they said.

“It’s is a tragedy what has happened that has not only impacted our family but the community and New Zealand.

“Our girl Ariki was beautiful, energetic, bright-eyed and lived life full throttle. She will be forever loved and missed.”

Police officers search for items of interest three days on from when a car containing Ariki Rigby's body was torched near Havelock North. Photo / Neil Reid
Police officers search for items of interest three days on from when a car containing Ariki Rigby’s body was torched near Havelock North. Photo / Neil Reid

They also urged anyone who has “any information around this very horrendous situation please contact the police in the first instance”.

In their statement, the family publicly thanked dog walker, Hastings man Kevin Monrad, for finding “our girl”.

They also thanked the funeral service handling her farewell, Police and Victim Support.

Ariki will be laid to rest with her great grandparents, whanau and tipuna at Motuopae Island, Huria Tauranga Moana.

The River Road Recreational Reserve is a popular spot for dog walkers, family picnic trips and bike riding. Photo / Neil Reid
The River Road Recreational Reserve is a popular spot for dog walkers, family picnic trips and bike riding. Photo / Neil Reid

Family members and friends had been searching for the 18-year-old since they last had contact with her in late August.

According to a friend, Ariki had last been seen on September 2 in the Napier/Hastings area.

One of Ariki’s social media accounts includes a photo of her posing with patched Mongrel Mob Flaxmere members on August 27.

Several bunches of flowers have been laid over recent days where Ariki’s body was found.

One bunch is in a white plastic bowl with the words “We’re sorry”.

Red and black balloons have also been tied to a pole in the carpark.

Ariki is a former student of Whanganui Girls’ College. She told friends shortly before her death that she was planning to record an album.

Police say they are following a number of lines of inquiry in relation to the teen’s death but were continuing to appeal for information from the public.

It took more than a week for the woman to be formally identified.

A police officer talks to a dog walker at the River Road Recreational Reserve last weekend. Photo / Neil Reid
A police officer talks to a dog walker at the River Road Recreational Reserve last weekend. Photo / Neil Reid

Detective inspector David De Lange said police had made “good progress” but still wanted to hear from anyone who saw a mid-90s dark grey Toyota Corona or people in the River Rd area between 10pm on September 2 and 7am on September 3.

The burned-out vehicle that contained the woman’s body was discovered on Saturday September 3.

The car remained there over the weekend until the following Monday, September 5, when the dog walker Kevin Monrad took a closer look and found the woman’s body, alerting police to take a closer look.

Police said an initial report from a member of the public was that the burned-out car contained animal remains.

Police officers scour bush and scrub near where Ariki Rigby's body was found in a torched car. Photo / Neil Reid
Police officers scour bush and scrub near where Ariki Rigby’s body was found in a torched car. Photo / Neil Reid

Monrad took a closer look at the vehicle when he was walking past last Monday, and said it was obvious the body in the back was human after noticing shoulder-length hair and a silver necklace.

He said it appeared she had suffered multiple bone breaks and fractures.

The Hastings man said when he had inspected the vehicle he had “noticed inside the car what to me looked like a corpse”.

Subscribe to Premium

On closer view he discovered a woman’s body which was lying “face down behind the driver’s seat”.

He said it was clear that she had multiple bone fractures consistent with someone who had been badly “beaten”.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *