26 May 2010

Man charged with murder of Whanganui woman

9:45 pm on 26 May 2010

A man charged with murdering Whanganui woman Marice McGregor has made his first appearance in court and has been granted temporary name suppression.

The accused was arrested on Tuesday afternoon and the Whanganui District Court's duty solicitor asked for interim name suppression so the 42-year-old could inform all members of his family.

Police argued that the man's family had been notified, but the judge ordered that the accused not be publicly identified until 4pm on Friday.

The judge also ordered a psychiatric report and remanded the man in custody for two weeks.

Marice McGregor, 45, was last seen alive on 19 April but was not reported missing for 10 days.

She was thought to have been collecting pine cones at the Lismore Forest, about 20km north of Whanganui. Her red Suzuki was later found abandoned there containing her shoes and wallet.

Police found Ms McGregor's body in a bush-filled ravine near State Highway 4, about 36km north of Whanganui.

The body was badly decomposed, delaying formal identification. Her funeral was held in private on Tuesday.

Family statement

The family of Ms McGregor say it is a relief someone has been charged in connection with her death.

A statement issued by the family on Wednesday said they always wanted to know how she died and are pleased the justice system now has a chance to do its work.