Convicted murderer still on the run a week after escape

Convicted murderer Katrina Epiha, 22, escaped custody last week. Photo: NZ Police
Convicted murderer Katrina Epiha, 22, escaped custody last week. Photo: NZ Police
Convicted murderer Katrina Epiha has now been on the run for a week.

Epiha was convicted of fatally stabbing Alicia Maree Nathan, 32, and threatening to kill another woman at an Avonhead property in Christchurch when she was still a teenager in August 2017.

The 22-year-old escaped custody while being transferred from Middlemore Hospital in Auckland back to prison in the early hours of last Friday, September 11.

She was last seen running towards Gray Ave in Māngere, South Auckland, about 12.30am that day.

A week later, she remains on the run and it seems authorities are no closer to finding her.

Epiha is considered dangerous and members of the public have been warned not to approach her.

At the time of her escape, she was wearing a black long-sleeved top with a white shirt underneath, grey track pants and light pink shoes.

She has a piercing on her nose and another just under the left side of her mouth and two distinctive tattoos across her face.

Epiha also has links to the Mongrel Mob gang.

Earlier this week, it was revealed the prisoner - who required medical treatment that could only be done at a hospital - managed to get away despite having been handcuffed to one of two Corrections officers she was with at the time.

Department of Corrections regional commissioner Lynette Cave said in a statement: "She was accompanied by two Corrections officers. The prisoner was handcuffed to one of those Corrections officers."

Police were called immediately and have been actively searching for her since then, Cave said.

"A full operational review into the circumstances of the incident is being carried out."

The Department of Corrections was unable to provide further information on the escape as the review was ongoing, she said.

Police have searched a number of properties connected to Epiha and have not been able to find her.

Authorities are also warning anyone who may be helping the 22-year-old that they could be prosecuted for doing so.

The public is being urged to call 111 immediately if they see or find out where she is. The information would be treated with strict confidentiality, police said.

Can you help? Anyone with information is asked to call Police on 111, contact Counties Manukau Police on 09 261 1321 or you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

 

 

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