4 Nov 2008

Kerikeri homicide search expected to take days

4:55 pm on 4 November 2008

Police in Northland say it will take at least two days to complete a scene examination after the killing of a girl in Kerikeri.

A police forensic team has set up a base in an old orchard in Cobham Road where the body of Liberty Rose Templeman, 15, was found by searchers about 5.30pm on Sunday.

She was reported missing on Saturday after failing to meet up with a friend.

Inspector Chris Scahill says it will take days to sift through the overgrown orchard with its long grass and stream.

A post-mortem has confirmed police are dealing with a homicide, but Mr Scahill says it would be unwise to reveal how she was killed.

Miss Templeman was a student at Kerikeri High School until a fortnight ago when she moved to Auckland with her parents.

She was back in Kerikeri for the weekend visiting friends.

Shrine at school

Messages of sympathy and support have been flowing in to Kerikeri High School, after the killing of a popular student.

The school's auditorium has been turned into a shrine for Miss Templeman, whom teachers described as a bubbly, well-liked and talented student.

School principal Elizabeth Forgie says condolences and bouquets of flowers have been sent from all over New Zealand, as teachers and students mourn the loss of a young friend.

Mrs Forgie says the killing has had a profound impact on the school and the mood is sad, sombre and anxious.

She says the auditorium has been given over to students to put up messages and posters and receive counselling on how to handle their feelings of shock and grief.

Messages continue to pour in to Miss Templeman's Bebo website page - which also has a video of her in her school show in October.