30 Sep 2013

Czech tourist murder probably not preventable - coroner

5:28 pm on 30 September 2013

A coroner says it's unlikely extra steps the police could have taken in the search for a man who sexually assaulted and killed a Czech hitchhiker in South Canterbury last year would have changed the outcome.

Inquest findings were released on Monday into the deaths of Dasha Pytlickova, 31, and Waimate man, Jason Frandi, 43, whose bodies were found in a forest block near Waimate in May 2012.

The coroner, Richard McElrea, has found Frandi abducted Ms Pytlickova as she was attempting to hitch a ride. He drove her into the forest and forced her to walk for more than an hour in the dark before sexually assaulting and killing her.

Frandi then killed himself.

Mr McElrea has also confirmed Frandi had been confronted earlier in the day by the father of a girl about a case of historic child abuse, and the police were already looking for him.

He said it is highly unlikely the outcome would have changed had the police flagged Frandi's vehicle as one of interest and asked for all staff to be made aware he was being sought.

The Coroner's findings were not critical of the police, but he does recommend changes in communication should such a situation arise again.