8 Aug 2015

Palmerston North man died a 'violent' death

5:06 pm on 8 August 2015

A 26-year-old man found dead outside a block of flats in Palmerston North on Thursday morning may have been dumped there after he died a "violent" death.

Taieri Court in Palmerston North, where a body was found this morning.

The body was found in Tairei Court in Palmerston North, but may have been placed there. Photo: Google Street View

Police today named the man as Samuel Peter Culling, from Palmerston North, also known as Samuel Whatuira and Samuel Badawi.

A homicide inquiry is underway.

Detective Senior Sergeant Craig Sheridan said a post mortem conducted yesterday revealed Mr Culling died a "violent death".

"A post-mortem examination was conducted yesterday. The information I have from that I won't be releasing to the public arena. We consider that it needs to be sensitive to the investigation team at the moment, as we try and piece together what's happened here."

Mr Sheridan said while police have no leads, they know more about the victim than they did 24 hours ago.

"The scene examination has yielded some valuable information. It is possible that Samuel may have been killed at an unknown location before being transported to Taieri Court and left there.

"This is where we need anyone who saw any suspicious people or vehicles in the West Street area between 10pm on Wednesday 5 August, and 7am on Thursday 6 August to contact police.

He said police had made some good progress in the past 48 hours.

"We still have much work to do and the investigation team is working hard to identify and locate whoever is responsible for Samuel's death."

A team of 20 officers are working on the investigation.

Officers are speaking with Samuel's family and friends to establish his movements before his death, said Mr Sheridan.

"Police are looking into Samuel's movements in the days leading up to his death and we want to speak with anyone who had any contact, or saw Samuel in the past few weeks. It is vital they contact police so we can gather as much information as possible."

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Operation West inquiry team on (06) 351 3885. Information can also be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.