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Murder victim assaulted, burnt: police

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 28/04/2016

A Christchurch man whose body was found in a small Canterbury town had been brutally attacked and his body burnt, police say.

Marcus Luke Tucker was found dead at Doyleston near Lake Ellesmere on Monday.

Detective Inspector Tom Fitzgerald confirmed on Thursday that the 36-year-old had been murdered and his body was burnt.

Det Insp Fitzgerald said homicide investigators were still trying to piece together what happened to Mr Tucker and who was responsible.

"We can say, however, that we do not believe there is any risk to the wider community," he said.

Speculation about the circumstances surrounding Mr Tucker's death wasn't helpful to the investigation or the man's grieving family, he said.

"While Police are keeping an open mind as we proceed with our investigation, our focus is on dealing with fact, not unsubstantiated rumour," he said.

Earlier this week police divers searched the shallows of Lake Ellesmere and contacted local petrol stations asking for receipts from purchases of fuel less than $30.

Family and friends of Mr Tucker have taken to social media to express their shock.

"I'm so gobsmacked right now because you didn't deserve to go out like this," Sian Iti wrote on Facebook.

"I didn't know you that long but you looked after me like I was family when I was younger and I will always respect you for that, sending my prayers and love to everyone involved."

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