30 May 2012

Dead woman in forest was Czech tourist

5:04 am on 30 May 2012

A woman found dead in a remote forest area near Waimate in South Canterbury was a Czech tourist who was hitch-hiking.

Police are investigating a double death near Waimate after two bodies were discovered by riders on a school fundraising motorcycle race on Sunday. At least one of the deaths is being teated as a homicide.

On Tuesday afternoon, police said they believe the woman is Dagmar Pytlickova, 31, known as Dasha. She had been in New Zealand since January this year and was working at a vineyard in Cromwell in Central Otago.

Earlier, police confirmed that the dead man is Jason Frandi, 43, a digging contractor from Waimate. Search teams have located his silver BMW car in trees about 3km from the crime scene.

Police said Ms Pytlickova was hitch-hiking to Timaru and is likely to have encountered Mr Frandi somewhere between Omarama and Kurow.

Detective Inspector Greg Williams would not say if the man killed Ms Pytlickova, but told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme on Tuesday that police are not looking for anyone else.

Mr Williams said police have spoken to the woman's family and they are devastated.

Dead man convicted of kidnap

It has been revealed that Jason Frandi had at least four convictions, including one for kidnapping.

In 2000, he was jailed for three-and-a-half years for the abduction of a young woman whom he did not know.

At the time of his arrest, Mr Frandi reportedly told police that he had intended to take the woman out to a forestry block to rape her.

During sentencing, Mr Frandi's lawyer said his client was suffering from deep depression and the intended rape was to have been a final act before he took his own life.

Police said on Tuesday they were trying to speak to Mr Frandi over a complaint of historical child abuse before his death.

The man was last seen alive at lunchtime on Saturday and police said they wanted to talk to him about an altercation.