The man whose body was found in a burnt-out car in North
Canterbury on Sunday was Shane Malcolm Bell.
Detective Senior Sergeant Brian Archer said inquiries in
relation to the vehicle, along with the scene examination and
information received from the public, indicate it is highly
likely the dead man is Mr Bell, a 28-year old self-employed
A post-mortem completed this morning also assisted police in
coming to this view, Detective Senior Sergeant Archer says.
Further forensic examination will be undertaken to fully
confirm the dead man's identity.
Police have released a photograph of Mr Bell, and are
appealing for any information about his movements last week.
The last reported sighting of Mr Bell was at his home in the
Christchurch suburb of Dallington on Thursday morning.
Mr Bell's family and partner have been spoken to by police.
"At this stage the inquiry remains a suspicious death
investigation. We are trying to put together a picture of the
deceased's movements in the days leading up to his death.
"A key component to this investigation is determining when
the car was burnt out. We now believe this was prior to
Thursday evening. A member of the public who was in the area
has come forward to police and indicated they had seen the
burnt out shell of the car at around 4 to 5pm on Thursday."
Police have now discounted bullet holes found in the side of
the car as being related to the fire or the death.
"A group of recreational shooters has come forward and told
police they were in the vicinity on Friday evening. They have
indicated that the car was already burnt out at that time,
and that they fired shots at the vehicle using a rifle."
Police are also continuing to appeal for any sightings of the
Subaru station wagon prior to Thursday evening.
A scene examination is expected to be completed at the Loburn
site today. Police expect to remove the vehicle from the site
Anyone with information about Mr Bell or the 1989 silver
Subaru station wagon is asked to contact Christchurch police
on (03) 3637400.
Alternatively, to provide information anonymously contact
Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
- The Star