8 Oct 2016

Police confirm Ross Bremner one of three dead

10:44 pm on 8 October 2016

Police have named the three people found dead at a rural King Country property, confirming one is wanted man Ross Bremner.

The bodies, which included those of an elderly couple, were found last night at a rural property in Kinohaku on the Kawhia Harbour, near Tahāroa.

Police said the three had been formarlly identified as Mr Bremner, 34, Mona Waikoko Tuwhangai, 82, and Maurice Raymond O'Donnell, 72.

At a news conference in Hamilton early this afternoon, Waikato Acting Superintendent Naila Hassan said the couple were not related to Mr Bremner, and it was not known if Mr Bremner knew them, Ms Hassan said.

"We do not know why Ross Bremner travelled to this place."

Police are still at the Kinohaku property where the bodies were found. Photo: RNZ / Cole Eastham-Farrelly

Mr Bremner was wanted for a double knife attack on his parents on 4 October, in which his mother Clare, 60, was killed and his father Keith, 64, left critically injured.

Police were told about the deaths in Kinohaku yesterday evening, but believed all three died several days ago, Ms Hassan said.

The person who discovered the bodies, who was earlier described by police as a visitor to the house, was "understandably very distressed", she said.

A scene investigation at the property was still under way.

"The bodies are still at the property, it's part of the investigation, it's ongoing and we are unable to say when they might be removed."

Neighbours keep vigil

Family and friends of Ms Tuwhangai and Mr O'Donnell have been keeping vigil outside the gate all day.

A local man who knew the couple, Allan Smith, said once the news spread, people wanted to come down to show their support.

"We're all neighbours, friends, locals, whānau, and we gather here to give the extended family some support and see what we can do to help.

"It's certainly a time of uncertainty and grief and you've got to come and support the family."

People place flowers at the entrance to the Kinohaku property where three bodies were found, including that of Ross Bremner.

People place flowers at the entrance to the Kinohaku property where three bodies were found, including that of Ross Bremner. Photo: RNZ / Cole Eastham-Farrelly

One body was removed from the property this afternoon, and those keeping vigil turned their backs as the hearse drove away.

Whānau left two bunches of flowers at the entrance to the property and more than a dozen family members were still at the scene.

Search for Ross Bremner defended

When asked, Ms Hassan was unsure whether there had been a police force in the area around Tahāroa over the past three days, before the discovery of the bodies.

But while police had been focusing on Otorohanga, there had been a "very broad" search for Mr Bremner with teams across Waikato, Ms Hassan said.

"We had priorities during the investigation that we attended to that I believe we attended to correctly and in the right order."

Look back at the live stream of the news conference in Hamilton:

As part of their search for Mr Bremner, police had asked for sightings of a 2003 silver Holden Vectra with registration BGP561.

The car was found at the property and has since been on the back of a tow truck.

Police said they had not yet confirmed with neighbours the possibility that the car had been to the property several times before the bodies were found.

Police believed there was no longer an ongoing risk to the public, however anyone with information was asked to call Operation Arctic on 07 858 6200.

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