The investigation into the fatal crash causing the death of Don Henry Turei Junior has been upgraded to a homicide investigation.
Detective Inspector Lew Warner says witness accounts and forensic examinations of the scene and Mr Turei’s motorbike clearly show this was a deliberate act.
“We believe Mr Turei was purposefully hit by a white Honda Odyssey-type van, which immediately left the scene of the crash,” says Mr Warner.
“We are continuing to seek information and sightings of a white Honda Odyssey in the Raukokere area on 25-26 November.
“The burnt out vehicle was found near the banks of the Raukokore River not far from where Mr Turei died. We know someone out there will have information on who may have committed this crime.”
Police would like to speak to anyone who has seen the vehicle in the Raukokere area over that weekend, has seen the driver and/or passengers or saw it end up burnt out near the river.
Information can be reported to Bay of Plenty Police on 07 349 9554, anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, or by private message to the Bay of Plenty District Facebook page.
“Mr Turei’s family are preparing for their first Christmas without him and we are doing everything we can to find the people responsible and hold them to account.
“If you even suspect you might know who did this, do the right thing and tell us what you know,” says Mr Warner.
“We hope solving this crime will go some way towards bringing closure to Mr Turei’s family.”