20 Jan 2024

Homicide investigation launched after man's body found in Waikato River

3:12 pm on 20 January 2024
Waikato River

John Wirihana Isaac's body was found in the Waikato River south of Hamilton. (File image) Photo: 123rf.com

A homicide inquiry has been launched after a man's body was found in the Waikato River Thursday evening.

Police today identified the victim as John Wirihana Isaac, 52, of Hamilton.

His body was found in the water about 7pm on Thursday near Ngāruawāhia by members of the public who had taken their boat to the river.

After a post-mortem examination, police have launched a homicide inquiry.

"The men who located him did an outstanding job by getting Mr Isaac to the riverbank at Ngāruawāhia, where a police boat and Search and Rescue team were able to recover him," Detective Senior Sergeant Ross Patterson said in a statement.

"To protect the investigation at this early stage, police are not in a position to elaborate on the cause of Mr Isaac's death," Patterson said.

"We would, however, like to hear from anyone who has seen Mr Isaac in the past few days or any unusual activity near the river and any of the bridges between Hamilton and Ngāruawāhia."

Anyone with information is asked to call 105, or make a report online at 105.police.govt.nz, clicking "Update Report", and reference the file number 240119/8775.

Information can also be provided anonymously to CrimeStoppers by calling 0800 555 111.

"This is an incredibly distressing event for Mr Isaac's whānau, and we are providing them with support at this time," Patterson said.