Police have launched a homicide investigation after the death of a woman in the Wellington suburb of Khandallah on Wednesday.
In a statement, police said Helen Gregory, 79, was found deceased in her home at Baroda St about 11.50pm on January 24.
Initially police had been treating her death as unexplained but on Sunday, Detective Senior Sergeant Tim Leitch said the post-mortem showed “Helen died as a result of a violent act”.
“Our thoughts remain with Helen’s family and friends at this difficult time.”
Over the past several days, police have been conducting inquiries in the Baroda St area.
Police say Helen Gregory met a violent end at the property on Baroda Street. Photo / RNZ
Craig Dunshea, the owner of Dunshea’s Deli at the bottom of Baroda St, said Gregory was a lovely older lady, very fit and healthy for her age, and a churchgoer.
She wasn’t a deli goer and only popped into his business about once a year.
Dunshea said Gregory had a son and daughter, the latter who he went to school with.
A scene examination remains ongoing at the address and police staff are expected to remain there for another day or two.
Police are appealing for the public’s help with their investigation, and want to hear from anyone who saw or had communication with Helen Gregory in the days before she was found dead. This includes any of her friends or contacts who have not yet been in touch with police.
“We also want to hear from anyone that was in Baroda Street on Wednesday 24 January, and who may have seen any unusual activity, or seen anyone they didn’t recognise as resident in the area,” Leitch said.
On Thursday, one neighbour told RNZ they were surprised they had not heard anything on the quiet street.
“It’s pretty scary yeah...
“I was talking to the other neighbours around the back, even closer to us, and they were like, ‘We were up at that time ... we didn’t hear anything, we should be able to hear these things’.
“Because you can hear everything on this street, but just having something like that happen, it’s not very - it doesn’t feel too good.”
They said they believed a woman lived alone in the house at the scene of the investigation.
Another resident told RNZ nothing like this had happened in the area before.
Officers knocked on his door to ask if he had seen or heard any disturbance overnight, he said, but he did not know anything was wrong until he heard the news.
Local MP and former Police Association boss Greg O’Connor visited the street this morning and posted on Instagram.
“Up visiting the homicide scene in Khandallah this morning and chatting with locals. Naturally a bit of anxiety awaiting the outcome of the investigation, especially to know if it was a random attack or not. I have faith my former colleagues will resolve it quickly, the best reassurance for the community.”
Anyone with information can report it to police on 105, or make a report online at 105.police.govt.nz, clicking “Update Report” and reference the file number 240125/1641.
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