31 Oct 2020

Woman’s death unexplained, police say

7:12 am on 31 October 2020

First published on Otago Daily Times

By Abbey Palmer

An Invercargill house in which a body was discovered is owned by a Russian woman with links to a man who lives at another cordoned-off property, the Otago Daily Times understands.

Police undertake search after woman's body found at house

Police undertake a scene examination at a property in Grace Street in Invercargill after a woman's body was found. Photo: Otago Daily Times

A woman was found dead at the property in Grace St on Thursday, and police were carrying out scene examinations there and at another property in Tay St.

The Grace St property was bought a year ago by a Russian woman, who has been described as a "very nice" person.

A neighbour said it was "obvious" police believed the death was not from natural causes.

Meanwhile, a neighbour of the property cordoned off in Tay St said he knew the man who lived there and that his then-wife left the property about a year ago.

Police were yet to confirm if they were carrying out a homicide investigation.

Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Baird confirmed police were called to a Grace St address about 4.15pm on Thursday after a woman was found dead at the property.

"We are currently treating her death as unexplained while we are working to understand the circumstances."

Police emergency tape was seen wrapped around the Tay St property yesterday morning and an Armourguard security vehicle was parked outside.

Senior Sergeant Baird said further information would be released when available.

A neighbour of the Tay St property said the man who lived at the address was about 65.

The man's then-wife moved to to South City about a year ago. He said the man told him she wanted to get on the property ladder.

A real estate listing showed the Grace St property where the woman was found dead was sold on October 19 last year.

The neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, said he was in his garage working with machinery on Thursday afternoon so had not seen or heard anything and was shocked to find out police were investigating right next door to his Tay St home.

"It's a bit of an eye-opener. It's a really quiet neighbourhood. You hear about these things happening but I never thought it would happen near me."

A neighbour of the Grace St property, who also wished to remain anonymous, said police had visited yesterday afternoon to say there would be an investigation at the property next door.

"They just asked us to keep an eye and ear out for anything.

"It's pretty scary, though. It's obvious they don't think the death was [of] natural [causes]."

The woman said the area was generally very quiet and she had never heard of any problems.

"I'm pretty sure they're all old people who live there and they keep to themselves."

This story first appeared in the Otago Daily Times