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Nelson boat homicide probe expands

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 10/08/2016

Police are bringing in specialists and expanding their search as they hunt for clues in a suspected killing at a Nelson wharf.

Fifty-five-year-old local man John Murray "Muzza" Morton was found dead in the back of a white boat at Nelson Haven last Thursday, prompting a homicide investigation.

Police on Wednesday said they had examined a number of boats moored at Queen Elizabeth II Drive and would be expanding their search to nearby streets.

Specialist search teams have been brought into comb nearby Sovereign Street, Weka Street and North Road in coming days.

"We are looking for anything that could be relevant to the death of Mr Morton," Detective Senior Sergeant Craig Johnston said.

"This could be anything from items of interest to the investigation, including clothing or other items that could have been dropped by someone connected to the incident."

Local residents have been asked to check their properties for any unusual items that may have turned up.

A post-mortem examination carried out last week confirmed Mr Morton's death was a homicide, police said.

"The number and nature of Mr Morton's injuries suggest a very violent attack and the investigation team is determined to piece together exactly what happened," Det Snr Sgt Johnston said.

"I believe people in the Nelson community may hold the keys to unlock this mystery and I urge anyone with information about what happened to Mr Morton to come forward and help us hold to account the person or persons responsible for this senseless crime."

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