22 Dec 2008

Police say weapons used to kill prostitute still missing

6:00 am on 22 December 2008

Police investigating the death of a Christchurch prostitute say an extensive search of the river where her body was found has failed to locate the weapons used to kill her.

The body of Ngatai Lynette Manning, 27, also known as Mellory Manning, was pulled from the Avon River on Friday after it was a discovered by a passer-by.

The results of the post-mortem show that Ms Manning died from extensive injuries, and she was dead before her body was put into the river.

Police have confirmed more than one weapon was used in the attack, but they will not disclose what.

The officer in charge of the case, Detective Inspector Greg Williams, says an extensive search of the Avon River where her body was found has failed to find any weapons.

He says it's too soon to say whether more than one person could be responsible for killing Ms Manning.

Movements on Thursday night

Police are focussing on trying to establish her movements on Thursday night.

Police say the last known action of Ms Manning is a text message she sent at 10.45pm on Thursday.

One of her last clients has told police he was directed to the carpark of the old Caledonian Hotel after picking her up from Manchester Street.

Mr Williams says a police search of that carpark on Sunday did not locate anything of particular interest.

He says it's too early to say whether more than one person is responsible for killing Ms Manning.

Police say she was was known to have worked in the Peterborough and Manchester Street area and was seen on that corner at 10:15pm on Thursday.

She was wearing a short red cotton skirt, a black cardigan, a blue bikini top with white dots and was carrying a black shoulder bag.

They say the watch Ms Manning was wearing was stopped at 11pm.

Previous killing

The Prostitutes Collective says Ms Manning's death comes as a complete shock.

It is almost three years since the killing of another prostitute, whose body was dumped in the same area of the Avon River.