18 Jun 2013

Memorial for slain pizza shop owner

7:00 pm on 18 June 2013

The family of slain Paeroa pizza parlour owner Jordan Voudouris who was shot dead a year ago say his killer can't run forever.

The garden was blessed at the memorial service.

The garden was blessed at the memorial service. Photo: RNZ

The 55-year-old was found lying in a pool of blood at the rear of his shop early on 18 June 2012. A $50,000 reward for information has not been claimed.

A memorial service was held for Mr Voudouris in Paeroa on Tuesday morning. A small garden has been erected at the rear of the building and on the back wall is a simple plaque with the words: Jordan Voudouris, Our pizza man, rest in peace.

Vivien Leonard-Gerrand, who owns the shop next to the pizza parlour, came up with the idea of the garden adjacent to where his body was discovered.

"Jordan was a great guy and I wanted a place where we could remember him because I knew he was from Auckland and this is where it all happened. It's still really raw in the community because no one's been held accountable. We just thought it would be a nice thing to do."

Gwendalyn Richmond, left, says she believes justice will be served.

Gwendalyn Richmond, left, says she believes justice will be served. Photo: RNZ

Pastor Bill Tissingh blessed the garden and told about 20 people gathered that it is symbolic. After the service, the family quietly came forward to look it.

Jordan Voudouris' former wife, Gwendalyn Richmond, said the family are still angry that a loved and cherished member was taken from them. "He loved this community and he would want us to say thank you to everybody."

Ms Richmond believed that the killer would be found and justice served.

Hauraki District mayor John Tregidga said the close-knit Paeroa community is still hurting. Resident James Thorp said the death was a senseless act of violence and the community won't rest until the case is solved.

Detective Sergeant Glenn Tinsley said police have not given up, but have run out of new leads. Mr Tinsley said the reward for information is due to expire at the end of June. There are no plans to extend the reward period but he is not ruling this out.