"We are making significant progress in this investigation" says Detective Inspector Greg WILLIAMS.
We have had a very good response from the public and have had a number of witnesses come forward who saw a number of incidents occurring in and around Auburn Reserve over night 12-13 February.
The deceased has been identified as Shaun Martin FINNERTY, aged 16. Shaun is from Dunedin but had been staying up here in Christchurch with relatives for the last couple of months. He was reported missing from the family home on Friday, 8 February 2008. He was located by Police on Sunday, 10 February.
As a result of his behaviour and in consultation with CYFS, he was placed in a CYFS family home in Richmond, in relation care and protection issues,
He was reported missing by CYFS on Monday, 11 February 2008 after he failed to turn back up at the home.
The investigation now has several key focuses.
We are in the process of tracking Shaun's movements during Monday and Tuesday of this week. Attached is a photograph of Shaun taken from video from Riccarton Mall about 10.30 Tuesday morning. We know he was with a group of four Polynesian or Maori males - we have identified those people and are currently speaking with them.
We are still seeking information from the public with regards to his movements.
The next focus is on activities in and around Auburn Park from early evening, Tuesday, 11 February right through to when the ambulance was called at 5.47am. Again we have received great assistance from the public and are currently getting a clearer picture of what was happening there.
It would appear that Shaun was in this park with a group of youths, some Polynesian or Maori for sometime. We are currently speaking to seven people who were either in the park or have knowledge of what has taken place.
We now believe we know who called the ambulance and are actively taking steps to locate him. He will be well aware of this and I urge him to come forward.
Forensic work continues at the scene. I expect them to be there for a few more days.
I also have a big team carrying on with the area canvas around the suburb and thank all those people that have provided information.
The post mortem has been completed. All I can say at this time is that Shaun has been seriously assaulted and this is likely to be a contributing factor in the cause of his death. Toxicology tests will need to be completed and ultimately it is for the Coroner to determine the cause of death.