11 Jul 2018

Mangere death: Former tenant says no one should have been inside house

7:14 am on 11 July 2018

The former tenant of an Auckland house where a young woman was found dead at the weekend moved out just days before the body's discovery and says no one should have been inside.

Police outside the area where a 17-year-old was found dead

Police outside the area where a 17-year-old was found dead Photo: RNZ/ Jessie Chiang

Police launched a homicide investigation yesterday after they discovered the 17-year-old's body late on Sunday night at a Housing New Zealand property on Bucklands Road in Mangere.

Ashley Tonga had lived there for the past ten years and she and her mother moved to a new house only last Tuesday.

Since they left, her neighbours had seen people going inside, she said.

Ms Tonga said when she went back to pick up post from the house early Sunday evening, something didn't feel right.

"I just got that ... hair standing on the back of my [neck], that was while I was at the back [of the house] and I ran [out]," she said.

The next day Ms Tonga received news that a body had been found at the house.

"I was just shocked when I was talking to the neighbour [because] she had said the body was there for a while," she said.

Ms Tonga said she and her mother saw the teenager's body being taken out of the house on Monday.

"It was unbelievable, we looked and it was just quiet ... for ten minutes, nothing, nobody spoke," she said.

"I looked at my mum and she started tearing up."

Although they had moved out, that house still felt like home to them, she said.

She said her heart went out to the family of the teenager who died.

A Housing New Zealand spokesperson said the house was one of its properties but said the long-term tenants moved out on 28 June.