Man found dead had made global headlines

Peter Robb is shown in this 2016 file photo. Photo: ODT Files
Peter Robb is shown in this 2016 file photo. Photo: ODT Files
The "reclusive" Dunedin man whose body was found last week was Peter Alexandra Robb, who made international headlines when an internet romance went wrong.

The 69-year-old's body was found last Tuesday at a Garfield Ave, Roslyn property. 

Police said it had possibly been there for some time.

The death so far is being treated as unexplained.

The home was the scene of an armed police raid in 2009 when a German woman called for help after spending almost a month with Robb, whom she met on MySpace.

Police hurled stun grenades through the kitchen windows in the rescue mission.

The woman, Maja Gille — the daughter of a respected German artist — said at the time the home was a horror house with roosters, cats and chickens living inside.

Dust and rubbish were strewn about and the house smelt of dead animals and old clothes.

Gille claimed Robb misrepresented himself as a 33-year-old PhD student with photographs that made him look 20 years younger.

"He had such a creepy aura," she said.

The body was found at a property in Garfield Avenue. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
The body was found at a property in Garfield Avenue. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
The story made international headlines, with more than 100 stories on the case appearing in German news outlets.

In 2009, the Herald on Sunday reported that Robb had been before the Dunedin District Court in 2007, on a charge of criminally harassing a Brazilian student.

In August 2008, he received diversion.

The complaint arose while Robb and the student - the daughter of a prominent Brazilian businessman - were design students at the University of Otago.

He was excluded from the university for three months after the complaint.

A Garfield Ave resident, who declined to be named, told the Otago Daily Times this week the house had no power and belonged to a reclusive forager who lived off-grid.

"He had chickens, he had wild cats. It’s a hole of a place — disgusting.

"You would see him going around on his bicycle and foraging for things, but I haven’t seen him for ages."


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