Police are saying that various items went missing from the woman's Huntsbury home, including her car, large screen television and computer, they later found the car a few kms away, suggesting that this may have been a local crime. They are not releasing details of how she died until the results of the post mortem are known but they did indicate that her body had probably been in the house for a couple of days.
Update 22 February
The deceased woman was later named as Gaynor Alice White, 62, a widow who had lost her husband to cancer 5 years ago and who had recently become a grandmother. Shaun Skilling, an unemployed 22-year-old from Parklands, Christchurch has appeared on 4 charges in the Christchurch District Court and more are expected to follow. Police have said that a weapon had been used to kill Mrs White but aren't saying what it was.
This appalling attack on a defenseless woman is shocking. There have been so many similar crimes recently that we wonder if old people are now seen as easy targets in New Zealand. We think it would be a good idea if the government funded payments to old people so that they can install better security measures in their homes.
We've said before that one may judge the character of a society by how it treats the weak, the vulnerable, the most easily forgotten. Abuse of the young and the old is widespread in NZ, recent attacks on elderly people include:
- A 72 year old man left shaken and bruised after being robbed at gunpoint at his home in Beerescourt Rd Road, Hamilton
- An 82 year old woman kidnapped and robbed whilst shopping on W.Tamaki Road, Auckland
- Grandmother Barabara Julian, battered to death by an intruder in her Kaitaia home
- Lois Dear, 66, murdered and sexually assulted in her classroom at Tokoroa primary school
- An elderly woman was physically and sexually assulted in her Eltham home
- Retired teacher John Rowe, murdered by two teenage girls in his Opotiki home
- An 83 year old woman who was assaulted and her home set fire to in Howick
- An elderly couple who were hopsitalized after a home invasion in New Plymouth
- An elderly man kicked to the ground and assaulted by a truck driver in Manukau
- An 85 year old man badly beaten during a home invasion at his Bethesda Village retirement home in Wiri.
- 86 year old Patricia Burrows was left with a fractured pelvis, cuts and bruises after she was mugged in a Christchurch shopping mall
- Yin Ping Yang, 80, died following a savage attack during a home invasion in Manurewa East that lasted for several hours.
- A 99 year old woman who was sexually assaulted in her Palmerston North home and died in hospital