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Farms searched in hunt for knife attacker

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 6/10/2016

Police are turning their attention to Otorohanga farms as their hunt for a suspect in a deadly knife attack enters its fourth day with no sightings.

Clare Bremner, 60, was killed and 64-year-old Keith Bremner was flown to Waikato Hospital with life-threatening injuries after the incident on Tuesday night.

Police are looking for their son Ross Douglas Bremner, 34, who lived with the victims on Cruden Avenue and worked in the town.

Despite 20 officers working on the search in the rural area, there had been no sightings of Mr Bremner or his car since the attack, Inspector Naila Hassan told reporters on Friday.

But police were "absolutely optimistic" about finding him, she said.

Local residents have been asked to check their barns and any other places Mr Bremner could have parked a silver Holden Vectra he was believed to be driving.

"We need the community. [They] are our eyes and ears, " Insp Hassan said.

But police have warned Mr Bremner should not be approached.

Keith Bremner was still under armed guard in critical condition on Friday morning and officers were still patrolling the town.

Insp Hassan declined to comment on the results of a post-mortem examination carried out on Thursday or about Mr Bremner's mental health history.

She said the community had rallied behind police, not only through a significant amount of information, but also by baking food for officers at the local station and posting their support for police on social media.

"The community can feel reassured with Armed Offenders Squad in the town," she said.

Otorohanga mayor Max Baxter told reporters the small town had been left in disbelief.

"There's still a lot of old fashion values in small communities ... this is a very supportive and parochial town and district," he said.

"So it's huge."

No weapon has been found, although InspHassan confirmed it was a knife.

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