The father of a New
Zealander shot dead during a robbery in Argentina last week
found out the horrific news from a journalist.
Nicholas Heyward, 31, was killed in the city of Mendoza last
He had been on a rock-climbing holiday through Chile,
Argentina and Peru.
Today, his father Ben Heyward told Radio New Zealand how he
came to learn that his son had been killed.
"It was a case of the media got to the news before it got to
me," Mr Heyward told Morning Report.
"I very quickly realised that something was wrong, and then
the journalist realised I didn't know and he backed off.
"It was the New Zealand High Commission in Canberra who said
to me that something had happened, but they couldn't confirm
anything until Interpol spoke to us.
"For hours, it didn't hit me, it was something I knew in my
head, but did not want to believe in my heart. It was
Two men have been detained over the killing of a New Zealand
man in a park in Argentina, as the friend who was with him
talks of how she tried to help him survive.
The first man police arrested was released after eyewitnesses
- friends of Mr Heyward's failed to pick him out of an
Mr Heyward, who lives in Adelaide, said his son's funeral
will be held there next Monday after the body arrives back
from Buenos Aires this week.
The family, and his son's large circle of friends, have
already started to gather in Adelaide, he told Radio New
He remembers his son, a trained physiotherapist, as a "very
active child - quick in mind and body".
"[He was] a desperate junior footballer, I mean, he wanted
that ball - and that describes how he lived life."
He grew up in Papua New Guinea before moving to Australia
where he became a keen surfer.
Latterly, he had toured the world rock climbing which made
contact with his father "irregular but frequent".
Mr Heyward had made a comment on his son's Facebook page just
an hour or two before he was told he was dead.
"I'd printed off a wonderful photograph of him high up on a
cliff somewhere with his back to the cliff, surveying a
valley in front of him filled with cloud over the peaks," he
"He was greatly enjoying the scenery of Chile and Patagonia
and looking forward to climbing in Argentina.
"He was with friends that he was enjoying very much... not
telling us a great deal of detail - the photos were doing
most of the talking."
While he had a "reasonably clear picture" of what happened,
he still wants to find out "a little bit more" and how the
He has left the investigation in the hands of police and now
hopes they catch "these two young blokes with guns".