Tourist attack may be linked to homicide

The man police are talking to over a Christchurch homicide knew the victim, police confirmed this morning.

The body of Christchurch woman Amy Elizabeth Farrall 24, was found in the boot of her car at Woolston New World supermarket yesterday morning.

She had been reported missing by an acquaintance on Saturday afternoon and her car was found at the carpark by police.

Police today say it's too early to say how or where she was killed.

A post-mortem examination will be carried out around midday today while her family has asked for privacy.

Christchurch police investigating her death have travelled to the West Coast this morning to interview a man arrested after a vicious attack on two tourists.

Detective Inspector Tom Fitzgerald said police believed the two incidents may be connected.

Yesterday investigators identified a vehicle of interest in relation to the homicide enquiry.

That vehicle was also believed to have been involved in the attack on two tourists on the West Coast.

Detective Inspector Tom Fitzgerald said detectives from Christchurch would be interviewing the man today and over the coming days.

The vehicle found at Woolston had been removed from the scene and secured by police, and would be forensically examined today.

A scene examination was continuing at a Woolston address where the victim lived.

A post-mortem examination is being conducted today.

Stand-off before arrest

The 38-year-old was arrested following a police pursuit and a five-hour armed stand-off after the attack on two foreign tourists on the West Coast.

The women were found on the side of the road at Franz Josef with serious injuries about 4pm.

They had been hitchhiking and were picked up at Whataroa by a man driving a blue Nissan Terrano earlier in the afternoon, Tasman District Commander Superintendent Richard Chambers said.

Police were yet to establish what happened but one of the women suffered pelvic injuries and the other had three knife wounds to the neck.

Following the attack, road blocks were put in place on State Highway 6 and a helicopter and a plane were send to try to locate the vehicle.

It was found south of Fox Glacier shortly before 8.30pm by a police patrol.

It failed to stop and a pursuit began. The fleeing driver encountered another road block at Paringa before turning north again.

Another road block at Karangarua River, 25km south of Fox Glacier, stopped the vehicle about 9.50pm.

Armed police surrounded the vehicle and began negotiating with the man. Armed Offenders Squad members from Tasman District, Dunedin and Christchurch were also flown to the area by helicopter to assist.

The standoff lasted more than five hours before the man was overpowered about 3am and taken into custody.

The man is being interviewed by police in Greymouth.

A 28-year-old German woman and a 27-year-old Japanese-Dutch woman are recovering at Grey Base Hospital where their conditions were described as stable.

They had spoken to police.

Police were grateful for the assistance they received from members of the public during the incident, which provided information on sightings of the vehicle, Mr Chambers said.

"It's been a long night for everyone involved, but the police staff who responded did a very professional job and as a result we had matter resolved as quickly as possible"

'I thought it was a backpack... a bag of rubbish'
The women were found by local woman Sue Hocken, who was driving through the township when she noticed a vehicle travelling towards her with its passenger door flapping open.

"I saw them being bounced out of the truck. Thrown out or jumped out, I'm not 100 per cent sure,'' she said last night.

"I was just driving the car and the passenger door was open on the truck that was coming towards me and then something fell out. I thought it was a backpack ... a bag of rubbish ... just something quite big.

"I thought 'something's not right', so I turned round and as I came back, he [the driver] had done a U-turn."

As the vehicle drove back past her heading towards the main road, Miss Hocken noticed two motionless women, one lying on the road, the other just off it.

She said they looked to be in their early 20s and appeared traumatised and in "major pain". One had obvious stab wounds around her throat and was bleeding heavily. The other had a deep wound to her hip and was badly grazed.

"It was pretty horrendous ... they weren't moving; they were just making noises."

One of the women was able to ask Miss Hocken to call for help, but they said little else.

Within minutes a passing tourist, who was a nurse, arrived on the scene. She was followed shortly after by the town's district nurse. The pair comforted and treated the women until the ambulance and police arrived.

The woman with the stab wounds was taken to hospital by helicopter and her companion was taken from the scene by ambulance, Miss Hocken said.

Miss Hocken, who was still feeling ''quite shaky'' last night, understood the women had been travelling separately but met up in Nelson and hitchhiked together from there.