Missing actress one of two found dead in Auckland house

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thursday, 8 March 2018, 6:46AM

UPDATE 4PM: Police have confirmed that one of the bodies found in Grey Lynn's Dryden Lodge was missing actresss Tania Ellwood. 

Ellwood, 39, was found on Tuesday, alongside that of 36-year-old Timothy Kerr Hamilton of Auckland.

Police say the pair were known to each other and police are not looking for anyone else in relation to the matter.

Police would still like to hear from anyone who may have seen or had contact with Ellwood or Kerr after 11am on Wednesday 28 February.

Police are investigating this matter and are still working to establish what has occurred at the address.

Ellwood, who had starred in Shortland Street, has been missing for over a week after last being seen in Newmarket.

Tania Ellwood.

Police were called to Dryden Lodge, which operates as a halfway house for many tenants with drug and alcohol problems, at 3.15pm on Tuesday.

Upon arrival, police found two people dead and detectives are now working to establish what happened.

 Yesterday the downstairs level of the Grey Lynn property had been partially cordoned off. Inside the cordon were single bedrooms and a kitchen, resident James Davidson said.

Police were donning face masks and scrubs to enter the cordon. Some residents had been evacuated.

Davidson has lived in the lodge for two years. He told the Herald he woke from an afternoon nap on Tuesday to find police everywhere.

He didn't know the people who had died but said a lot of the lodge residents had alcohol and drug issues.

A room at the lodge costs between $200 and $400 per week, Davidson said.

Dryden Lodge in Grey Lynn where tow bodies were discovered. Photo / Dean Purcell

Dryden Lodge in Grey Lynn where two bodies were discovered. (Photo / Dean Purcell)


A woman who works in an office a few doors down said police were often called to the lodge as it was a "colourful area". She wasn't surprised to hear of the double-death with all the drugs around but hoped it wasn't malicious.

"Hopefully it's not a nasty murder."

The landlord told a reporter that "my tenants have been through a lot" but declined to comment further.

The discovery of the bodies followed a police appeal to the public on Tuesday morning to help find missing 39-year-old Tania Ellwood, saying they were concerned for her safety.

Ellwood was last seen in Newmarket about 9.30am last Wednesday.

Police described her as being of slim to medium build, 166cm tall, with long blonde hair.

Ellwood is believed to live around the Dominion Rd, Sandringham-Mt Eden area, and her parents are based in Remuera.

She last contacted family at 6pm on February 27, and it was said to be out of character for her not to be in contact.

Dryden Lodge in Grey Lynn. Photo / Dean Purcell

Dryden Lodge in Grey Lynn. (Photo / Dean Purcell)

A family member posted to Facebook on Tuesday saying: "We love you Tania and we will find you."

Ellwood is listed on StarNow as being an actor, hair stylist, makeup artist and fashion stylist. She had a brief stint on Shortland Street where she played a character called Mandy Timmins.

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