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Gulf Harbour body in bag: Update in homicide investigation reveals new details

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Police have received information about the Gulf Harbour body-in-harbour case from overseas through Interpol. Photo / Michael Craig

Auckland police investigating a homicide where a woman’s body was found floating in Gulf Harbour have revealed new details about her in the hopes it will jog the right person’s memory.

Police have also received information about the case from overseas through Interpol, the most recent tip coming from Canada.

A fisherman found the woman’s body on March 12.

Police have been unable to identify her, aside from a belief she was Chinese.

Her appearance did not match any records of missing persons in New Zealand.

Now, almost two months after she was found wrapped in plastic, police have revealed details about her medical history and a more precise estimate of her age and ethnicity.

Acting Detective Inspector Tim Williams said an autopsy of her body had revealed she once had her gallbladder removed.

Williams said forensic tests have outlined “that it is highly likely the woman is of Chinese descent” and that she was aged between her early 30s and early 50s.

Police have asked for anyone with information on the woman, her identity, or the circumstances of her death, to contact the investigation team directly at 0800 755 021.

People can also contact 105 or www.police.govt.nz/use-105 and quote 240312/9837.

Lead cop thanks public for help

Williams said the investigation team had been working tirelessly, saying they had received more than 120 calls from the public with tip-offs.

He said police issued a Black Notice through Interpol last month, and it has proven fruitful.

“While we cannot go into the specifics, Interpol continues to receive information from a myriad of countries, the most recent being from Canada earlier this month,” he said.

“Police are continuing to work closely with Interpol in regards to this investigation.”

Police earlier released photos of blue pyjama bottoms with a pattern on them and an emblem of a singlet a woman was wearing when was found in Gulf Harbour. Photos / Michael Craig / New Zealand Police
Police earlier released photos of blue pyjama bottoms with a pattern on them and an emblem of a singlet a woman was wearing when was found in Gulf Harbour. Photos / Michael Craig / New Zealand Police

The woman was found wearing blue pyjama pants with a distinct love heart pattern and a singlet branded with a logo in Chinese lettering. Google Translate image detection software said the lettering reads “80cm Juanyan Knitted Garment Factory”.

A couple of weeks after the autopsy, police announced they had obtained a DNA profile of the victim.

But the profile did not match anyone in police records.

Williams said his team had been in touch with Canterbury detectives and had ruled out the victim being missing Christchurch real estate agent Yanfei Bao.

Raphael Franks is an Auckland-based reporter who covers breaking news. He joined the Herald as a Te Rito cadet in 2022.



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