29 May 2012

Homicide inquiry begins after bodies found in forest

8:15 am on 29 May 2012

Police have launched a homicide inquiry after the deaths of two people in a remote part of South Canterbury.

A group taking part in a school charity motorcycle race found the bodies of a man and a woman in the Waitaki Valley near Waimate on Sunday morning.

Detective Inspector Greg Williams says one of the deaths is being treated as a homicide.

The bodies have been removed from the scene. Post-mortems will be carried out on Tuesday as well as formal identification.

Mr Williams says police will continue to scour the remote area for sightings of a vehicle and items of interest.

He says an aspect of the investigation focuses on Jason Frandi, who is described as Pakeha, of solid build, with a shaven head and extensive tattoos on his arms and hands.

Mr Frandi, 43, was reported missing on Sunday and was last seen at 11am on Saturday parked at his home address in a silver BMW saloon.

Mr Williams says police are not ruling him out as one of the dead.

The identity of the woman should be known once next-of-kin have been informed.

Police want to hear from anyone who has seen or had contact with Mr Frandi after on Saturday.