10 Sep 2014

Possible clues in Ashburton shootings

1:40 pm on 10 September 2014

A tablet computer found floating down a river in Blenheim three months ago is believed to belong to the man accused of killing two Work and Income staff in Ashburton.

Members of the police forensics team leave the Ashburton Work and Income office, where three women were shot, two fatally.

The Ashburton Work and Income Office where the shootings occurred Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

John Tully, 48, has been charged with murdering Peggy Noble and Leigh Cleveland in their Ashburton office last week, and with the attempted murder of colleague Lindy Curtis.

The tablet was turned into police on Monday. The person who found the tablet has told Radio New Zealand News that she found it in early June while walking next to a Blenheim river.

The woman said it was tied to a soft drink bottle and could still be used, despite being damaged by water. She said it contained emails from people who wanted money from Mr Tully, and a message from his mother who wanted to know where he was.

A 1985 Mitsubishi Mirage GLX similar to one police investigating last week's Ashburton shootings are seeking.

A 1985 Mitsubishi Mirage GLX similar to one police investigating last week's Ashburton shootings are seeking. Photo: Supplied

The internet search history showed he had been researching outdoor survival skills, including how to make a rabbit snare. Police have declined to comment on the discovery of the tablet.

Meanwhile, police want information about a 1985 white Mitsubishi Mirage GLX saloon. They believe Mr Tully was in possession of this vehicle on 5 and 6 August, but its current whereabouts is unknown.

A spokesperson says a dive team is searching the Ashburton River today for any other unrecovered personal items belonging to Mr Tully, including an additional firearm and ammunition.

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