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Tirau fire death treated as homicide

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5 days ago

Police are trying to track the movements of a silver four-door sedan seen leaving the burning home Tirau woman Roma Midwood perished in.

On Tuesday police revealed it was a homicide investigation as the fire was "absolutely" deliberately lit.

The house on Little Street where the 58-year-old lived was set on fire between 3am and 3.30am on May 1, which was a Monday.

The fire was in the living area, and Ms Midwood was found toward the front of that living area, says Detective Senior Sergeant Matt Cranshaw, area manager investigations for Taupo.

He isn't commenting on how the fire was lit or on the exact cause of death.

"There's information we are not going to release this morning about the cause of death but the fire was lit in that house and she died in the fire."

He said even though it has been 51 days since the murder it was still early days in the inquiry.

He didn't elaborate on reports two men were seen leaving the house.

"That's from witnesses and that forms part of our thinking but we are yet to get to a point to establish exactly what that means," he said.

The car of interest left the scene just after 3.30am and police are hoping cars and trucks in the area may have camera footage of it.

The busy State Highway 1 goes through the Waikato township.

"Roma was a mother, grandmother and loved by those who knew her," Det Sen Sgt Cranshaw said.

Her death had had a devastating impact on her family.

"It is important that those responsible are held accountable. Someone in the community will know what occurred in the house and the circumstances that led to Roma's death."

Anyone with information should call 0800 766 211.

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