5 Aug 2016

Body in boat victim suffered 'serious assault'

4:24 pm on 5 August 2016

A man whose body was found in the back of a white boat at Nelson Haven yesterday morning died after a serious assault, police have revealed.

Nelson police at the scene where the body of a man was found on board a boat.

Nelson police at the scene where the body of a man was found on board a boat. Photo: RNZ / Tracy Neal

The body of the man, who has still not been named, was found on the boat opposite the skate park on State Highway 6 at 10.45am yesterday.

The death is being treated as suspicious and Detective Inspector Paul Borrell said today it appeared the victim was subjected to a "serious assault".

He said police were unable to release the man's name, as the formal identification process was still underway.

Detective Inspector Paul Borrell

Detective Inspector Paul Borrell Photo: RNZ / Tracy Neal

Forensic scientists and specialist police staff are still carrying out a scene examination, which is expected to take several days.

They are examining three boats moored at Nelson Haven.

"We are keen to hear from anyone who may know anyone who frequents this area," said Mr Borrell, "or any commuters or users of the skate park who may have seen or noticed anything suspicious on Wednesday night or Thursday morning."

At a press conference held this afternoon, Mr Borrell declined to say anything about the man's injuries, his age or where he was from.

"We've got things that we need to keep tight within the inquiry, and obviously if this turns out to be a suspicious death, there are things that particular people know that others don't, and we want to keep that under wraps."

Mr Borrell said a post-mortem is likely to be started tomorrow.