Hutt Valley man Matthew Stevens' body was discovered six hours after his abandoned car was found by police, investigators on the case say.
Police said when they first searched the car-crash site on Paekakariki Hill Road early Friday morning, they only found the dead man's damaged Toyota Corolla.
But about six hours later, a member of the public reported seeing a body in nearby scrub.
Mr Stevens. 32, had been fatally stabbed in his torso and police are now considering the theory that the body was dumped by someone returning to the site.
Police believe he was last in the Hutt Valley before he ended up dead down a bank on Paekakariki Hill Road.
CCTV footage released by police showed Mr Stevens at a Countdown supermarket at about 10.30pm on Thursday night.
Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Sears yesterday said police were trying to establish whether Mr Stevens had been at an Oxford Terrace property in Epuni that Thursday night.
"Our inquiries are still yet to establish whether he had visited that address after his sighting at Countdown on the night.
"People we have spoken to have told us that he intended to go to the Oxford Terrace property," he said.