Police charge man with murder of missing Aucklander Denver Chance
Source: https://www.stuff.co.nz/news/111174312/-

2019-03-10 23:40:06

A man has been charged with the murder of Denver Chance after the discovery of a body at a south Auckland address.

In a statement, Detective Senior Sergeant Megan Goldie said officers arrested a 41-year-old man outside a Mt Eden bar about 7pm Sunday.

Chance, 43, was last seen leaving a house in Mairangi Bay on Auckland's North Shore on February 24 – he told friends he would be back within an hour, but never returned.

Goldie said the man in custody would appear at Papakura District Court on Monday morning charged with Chance's murder.

Earlier, police narrowed their inquiries after phone data and CCTV footage put Chance in the south Auckland suburb of Kingseat on the night of his disappearance.

Detectives later found what they believed to be Chance's body inside a Kingseat address, after executing a search warrant at the property just before 4pm. The property is on Linwood Rd, between Kingseat and Te Hihi.

"Our thoughts are with Denver's friends and family tonight," Goldie said.

"Their worst fears have now been realised and they are absolutely devastated.

"Our focus throughout the investigation was finding Denver and being able to provide his family with answers.

"This is not the outcome any of us wanted, but at least we are now able to return Denver to his family and hold the person allegedly responsible for his death to account."

A post-mortem examination will take place in the next few days.

Meanwhile, the Kingseat property has been cordoned off so a scene examination could take place.

On Monday morning, there was little activity at the property where the body was found.

Two security guards could be seen from the road where police tape had been strung across the gate preventing access to the long driveway.

A police car could be seen in the distance, while horses grazed in a nearby paddock of the rural home.

At around 8.30am, two telecommunications riggers arrived at the property and tried to gain access, saying they wanted to retrieve work gear, but they were turned away by police.

Despite the arrest, officers said they would be making numerous inquiries over the coming weeks to find out exactly what happened to Chance.

On Sunday morning, Goldie said police had video of Chance entering a Torpedo 7 shop in Cavendish Drive, Manukau, between around 4pm and 4.30pm on February 24.

At 4.41pm, Chance's car was then seen turning out of Cavendish Drive across Great South Rd and heading south.

Police also had CCTV images and phone data which confirmed Chance was in the area of Kingseat area between 5pm and 6pm that day, Goldie said.

She said police had continued to canvas the area over the weekend; door-knocking and speaking with locals in case they saw anything of interest, including sightings of Chance's red Nissan Skyline.

Last week, Chance's mother, Paula McGregor, said it was "hideous" not knowing where her son was.

McGregor said he had not been in contact with his family, which was not like him.

"There have been many sleepless nights, and this past week has been hideous - a total emotional rollercoaster for our family. But we are not giving up hope on finding him," part of her statement said.

"He might look like a big tough guy, but he is an absolute softie, a gentle giant. He's an animal lover and really likes to travel, is into fitness and has a wicked sense of humour.

"He likes to play the clown and he adores his sister Ginny, who has travelled from the United States to help in the search for him."

On Friday, a close friend of Chance's said his mate was "well loved and currently missed terribly".

Greg, who has been friends with Chance for more than 15 years, made a poignant call for continued action in a video shared by police on Facebook.

"We need to find him," he said.

"We need that continued help, we need people to get involved and come forward with any information that you can to help us find Denver."

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