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Christchurch homicide: Police seeking sightings of car in connection to David Bridgwater’s death

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Police are seeking sightings of a second car believed to have taken off moments after a man was killed on a street in Christchurch.

David Karl Bridgwater died after he was found in the early hours of Thursday on Carisbrooke St, Aranui. It can now be revealed Bridgwater’s car was still running when he was found on the street beside it.

Armed offenders squad (AOS) officers descended on a property in the suburb of Aranui before 9am, near where Bridgwater was found.

No arrests have been made.

On Saturday, Detective Inspector Nicola Reeves told media police were seeking sightings of a green 2003 Holden Commodore registration BGE263. The car was believed to be in Carisbrooke St at the time of his death, leaving shortly afterward.

“Police would like to hear from anyone who has seen this car since around 2am on January 4 and any time since then.”

The car was at the Carisbrooke St property police raided on Saturday morning parked in the driveway.

Reeves said Bridgwater’s family were “really shocked” about what had happened.

“They’re devastated about the news of their son, their brother… he’s a father. They’re coping very well under the circumstances, it’s very early days. They’ve got a really long road ahead of them.”

Police were “starting to get a bit of a clearer picture” of what happened, Reeves said.

“But we’re still seeking a lot of information to determine how he came to be in Carisbrooke St and how what’s happened has taken place.”

The inquiry was “evolving” and police were speaking to some people who were “co-operating with us”, she said.

The search at Carisbrooke Street began at about 8.30am and is part of Operation Walter, the investigation into 38-year-old Bridgwater’s death. Police expect to remain at the address over the weekend, Reeves said.

The house at the centre of today’s raid is behind a memorial cross erected in Bridgwater’s honour.

Cordons were in place while police searched the property and people were asked to avoid the area. The cordons have since been lifted.

A house in Aranui has been raided by police investigating the homicide. Photo / Sam Sherwood
A house in Aranui has been raided by police investigating the homicide. Photo / Sam Sherwood

Reeves had earlier said police were called after a 38-year-old was found dead on Carisbrooke St, near Portchester St in Aranui, about 2.28am on Thursday.

Police have raided an Aranui, Christchurch, property this morning. Photo / Sam Sherwood
Police have raided an Aranui, Christchurch, property this morning. Photo / Sam Sherwood

Bridgwater last posted on Facebook on Christmas Day.

“I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a safe holidays and remember it’s not what’s under the tree it’s who’s around it I lost a few people this year that were very important to me and are no longer around.

“Shout out to those who are struggling with their mental health but getting up daily no matter what. This time of year can hit worse, look after each other.”

One of Bridgwater’s friends, Michael Sturgess, told the Herald he was “absolutely heartbroken” at the death of 38-year-old, also known as Cyrus.

“[He] was such an amazing and talented man with a heart of gold and a smile that would light up the room, such an amazing devoted father to his son and such a wonderful friend.

“As everyone knows he will be sadly missed by everyone gone but never forgotten. Your legacy will live on rest in love brother.”

Reeves had said on Thursday that police wanted to hear about any sightings of a Toyota, registration LEQ895. She also asked for anyone with any other information to come forward. The car has a distinctive sunroof.

The vehicle of interest was within the police cordon, but Reeves said police were uncertain of who had been using it and wanted sightings from within the past day.

“I would like to encourage anybody who thinks they have some information to come forward and let police know,” Reeves said.

“If you heard any unusual sounds on Carisbrooke this morning, or if you have CCTV footage, we would be interested.”

She said residents on the street first alerted police to the incident after they heard “an unusual noise”.

In a letter to nearby residents from Detective Sergeant Dion Murray, police asked people for any video footage between the hours of 12pm on January 3 and 3am on January 4.

The letter also asked anyone who heard or saw anything at about 1.30am on January 4 to contact police.

A resident said the first they knew of the incident was when they saw police cars. Photo / Sam Sherwood
A resident said the first they knew of the incident was when they saw police cars. Photo / Sam Sherwood

“I would also like to say and express my sympathies to the deceased’s family and we would also like to express our thanks to the residents on the street,” she said.

“We are continuing to make inquiries, but also want to encourage anyone with information to get in contact with us.”

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident, or who has information that could assist, is urged to contact Police on 105 or online at https://www.police.govt.nz/use-105 clicking “Update Report”. Information can also be provided anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

Please quote Operation Walter or 240104/2142.

Sam Sherwood is a Christchurch-based reporter who covers crime. He is a senior journalist who joined the Herald in 2022, and has worked as a journalist for 10 years.



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