22 Dec 2009

Death at yacht party now homicide case

5:57 am on 22 December 2009

The police are now treating the death of a builder who died during a Christmas party on a yacht in Auckland's Viaduct Harbour as a homicide.

They say the preliminary finding of a post-mortem is that Darren Grace, 40, of East Tamaki, died as a result of asphyxiation at about 9pm last Friday.

The vessel was chartered by Pacific Hygiene for its Christmas function. Mr Grace was a guest of an employee of the company, which says it's shocked by his death.

The company's managing director, Rodney Downs, says staff are in shock. He says Mr Grace was not known to everyone on board.