Man accused of Denver Chance murder to keep name secret

Author
Anna Leask, NZ Herald ,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Monday, 11 March 2019, 11:12a.m.
A man will appear in court today charged with the murder of Denver Chance (pictured) after the discovery of a body at a property south of Auckland.
A man will appear in court today charged with the murder of Denver Chance (pictured) after the discovery of a body at a property south of Auckland.

The man charged with Denver Chance's murder has been granted name suppression.

The man, 41, appeared in Papakura District Court this morning charged with the murder of Chance.

Court documents viewed by the Herald reveal the man is charged with murdering Chance on or about February 24 - the day he was last seen.

The accused was remanded in custody until his next appearance, which will be in the High Court at Auckland on March 27.

The accused will be represented by high-profile defence lawyer Ron Mansfield.

Mansfield was not in court today but was represented by Steven Lack.

Lack said the investigation was in its early stages and suppression was sought on that basis.

Community Magistrate Lauolefale Lemalu said the accused's first appearance should have been before a judge as she only had the jurisdiction to remand him in custody.

She agreed to grant interim suppression and also suppressed the information contained in the police summary of facts.

The accused appeared in court wearing a white police-issued jumpsuit.

He did not speak during the brief hearing. A number of people were in court to support the 41-year-old.

Body discovered yesterday

Chance's body was found at a property south of Auckland yesterday.

The grisly find yesterday marked the end of a missing person inquiry and the start of a homicide investigation.

A 41-year-old man, from Kingseat, was arrested by police outside a Mt Eden bar just after 7pm last night.

"Over the past 48 hours, the investigation team made significant progress as enquiries focused on the south Auckland suburb of Kingseat," said Detective Senior Sergeant Megan Goldie said on Sunday night.

"Police were able to narrow their enquiries following phone data and CCTV footage which placed Denver in the area on the evening of his disappearance on Sunday 24th February."

Detectives carried out a search of an address in Kingseat, near Papakura, at 4pm on Sunday.

A man's body was found at the address. While it has not been formally identified, police believed it was Chance, 43.

"Our thoughts are with Denver's friends and family tonight," Goldie said.

"Their worst fears have now been realised and they are absolutely devastated.

"Our focus throughout the investigation was finding Denver and being able to provide his family with answers."

"This is not the outcome any of us wanted, but at least we are now able to return Denver to his family and hold the person allegedly responsible for his death to account."

Earlier yesterday, police said they had obtained footage of Denver Chance in Torpedo 7 on Cavendish Drive, Manukau on February 24, between around 4pm and 4.30pm.

Other footage shows Denver at 4.41pm, turning out of Cavendish Drive across Great South Road, heading south.

"We also have CCTV footage and phone data which confirm Denver was in the Kingseat area between 5-6pm that day," Goldie confirmed.

"Police have been working in that area over the weekend, door-knocking and speaking with local residents in case they saw anything of interest, including sightings of Denver's car, a red Nissan Skyline - registration LGH476."

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