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Kiwi couple's gruesome holiday

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 5/07/2016 Lydia Anderson

Sun on a beach © Getty Images Sun on a beach A Kiwi couple are glad to be home after their Fiji holiday turned gruesome when they came across a decapitated head "rolling around" in the sea.

Graeme Bickley and his wife Jan were out for a stroll on Fiji's Natadola Beach on Monday when they came across the latest piece of evidence in a grisly murder mystery gripping the island nation.

Several body parts have washed up on the beach since the disappearance of Russian ex pats Yuri and Natalia Shipulin, who reportedly moved to Fiji in 2011 to run a farm and photography business.

The couple were reported missing on June 16 by their business partner Andrew Luzanenk, the Fiji Sun reported.

The couple's unlocked car was found at the beach, with the keys in the ignition.

Since then, two pairs of severed feet washed up wrapped in green netting, weighed down with stones.

DNA tests matched the feet were a match to the couple's families back in Russia, the Fiji Sun said.

Forensic tests are being carried out on the decapitated head to determine whether it belonged to Mr Shipulin or his wife.

Mr Bickley told NZ Newswire the story had been a common talking point since he and his wife arrived in Fiji for a holiday, and he had it in his mind when he saw a bundle floating in the shallows.

His wife Jan saw the package "just rolling around" in the water and joked it might be another washed-up body part.

"I scrambled in and pulled it out with difficulty because it was very heavy.

"Once we got it on the beach and I dropped it we could hear the rocks clicking inside and we just had that feeling."

He described it as a round bundle that had been carefully wrapped, and he suspected the head was wrapped in plastic inside as there was no odour.

The Bickleys notified resort authorities, and police took the package away to be checked at the local hospital.

The discovery left the couple with a lot of unanswered questions.

"How did those people get there and where are the people that put them there?"

He said it was disconcerting to know the murdered couple had probably been killed at the same beach the Bickleys were walking along.

They touched down in New Zealand on Tuesday evening, and Mr Bickley said while they were glad to be home, the incident wouldn't put them off another beach holiday.

"We've had a lot of interesting conversations ... we can dine out on that for awhile I think.

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