Homicide inquiry after North Otago death

A homicide inquiry involving about 40 police and support staff has been launched in to the death of a 35-year-old Elderslie dairy farm worker after his body was discovered in his house early yesterday morning.

Emergency services were called to an address in Pine Hill Road in rural Elderslie, about 10km inland from Oamaru, at 4.30am yesterday where Justin Conrad McFarlane was found dead by a fellow dairy worker who had called at the address after he was concerned that Mr McFarlane had not turned up for work.

Police would not comment on the exact circumstances of his death, other than to say it appeared it had been violent. 

Mr McFarlane was single and lived at the address by himself.

Acting Detective Inspector Colin Blackie said at a press conference at 2pm today the investigation was in its early stages, with the focus on
establishing the recent movements of Mr McFarlane and the events leading up to his death.

Inquiries are being made with people who knew Mr McFarlane such as his family, friends and associates, to determine his recent movements.

Police are calling for assistance from members of the public who might have seen Mr McFarlane's vehicle, which they believe was taken from the Pine Hill
Road address around the time of his death.

His 1992 Mitsubishi GTO two-door red sedan car registration number YE4901 was found burnt out at Serpentine Road, Maheno approximately 25 kilometres from the Pine Hill Road address yesterday morning.

Anyone who could assist police with sightings of the vehicle, Mr McFarlane's activities in recent days or anything suspicious at his Pine Hill Rd address could contact Oamaru police or Crimestoppers anonymously.


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