A spokesperson for the family of a former Christchurch businessman shot dead in Texas says the family had been concerned about email threats.
Chris Tiensch's body was found floating in the sea last week near the town of Port Aransas, near Corpus Christi in Texas.
Police have ruled out suicide and say they are treating the case as murder.
Mr Tiensch was suing a company in his home town of Austin, Texas over claims he had been defamed and ousted from the firm.
Emails made public during the case suggested he should be shot dead.
A friend speaking for the Tiensch family, Dinah Welsh, told Morning Report the email threats were "startling".
Police believe there is only about a 10% chance that Mr Tiensch was killed by a random person.