18 May 2016

Police name Rakaia homicide victim

8:22 am on 18 May 2016

Police believe the woman whose body was found near the Rakaia River in Canterbury had been a sex worker.

They believe she was 22-year-old Renee Larissa Duckmanton of Christchurch.

Renee Duckmanton

Renee Duckmanton Photo: Facebook

Detective Inspector Darryl Sweeney said Ms Duckmanton had worked in the sex trade in the Christchurch area, but it's not yet known whether that's connected to her death.

"It's important to note though, that Renee was a 22-year-old, vibrant, young lady, who was a daughter, a sister and a valued member of a family, and much loved.

"A large team continues to work around the clock and we will continue to do so until this crime is resolved."

Mr Sweeney said Ms Duckmanton died an unlawful death, with a post-mortem revealing extensive burns to her body.

Police are trying to trace Ms Duckmanton's movements over the weekend, and are asking anyone with information to please contact them.

"Police still have a large team of staff working around the clock on this enquiry," Mr Sweeney said. "We continue to ask the public for their help in providing information."

Police have completed a number of other scene examinations across Christchurch in relation to Ms Duckmanton's death, including a property in Kowhai Terrace and another in Bowenvale Avenue.

They have lifted cordons from the scene this evening.

Police have cordoned off a house in the Christchurch suburb of St Martins.

The cordoned-off house. Photo: RNZ / Sally Murphy

A number of fires in Rakaia on Sunday have been ruled out as being linked to the death of Ms Duckmanton, police said.

A separate investigation has been launched into the fires.

Earlier today police cordoned off a house in Christchurch in relation to their investigations.

A neighbour, who did not want to be identified, said a couple in their 40s had lived in the house for about 12 years.

"She has a couple of daughters but you hardly see them. I've heard them arguing a bit."

The neighbour said she saw the couple standing on their driveway this morning when police turned up.

"The police took them away but no one knows what is going on, it's pretty scary."

Another neighbour said the couple were quiet and kept to themselves but could sometimes be heard arguing.

Police investigators canvass Main Rakaia Road, where the woman's body was found.

Police examine the area where the woman's body was found. Photo: RNZ/ Sally Murphy