Coroner releases findings on Waimate deaths

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Coroner Richard McRae has reiterated police advice to hitchhikers not to accept lifts from strangers and not to hitchhike alone.

His recommendations form part of his findings into the death of a Czech woman who was murdered by a Waimate man in May, 2012.

Dagmar Pytlickova, a Czech visitor to New Zealand, was attempting to hitchhike from Cromwell to Cave.

She was abducted and forced to walk more than 4km into a forest before she was sexually assaulted and murdered.

Her killer, Jason Keith William Frandi, then took his own life.

A coroner’s findings into the deaths revealed Frandi had earlier been jailed for abducting a woman.

Ms Pytlickova was in New Zealand on a working holiday with her sister, Jana, and had been working at a vineyard near Cromwell.

On May 26, 2012, she had planned to make a three-hour trip to Cave, where her sister worked, and then fly with her to Auckland the next day.

She was dropped off by friends on State Highway 8 outside Cromwell, from where she planned to hitchhike.

Her sister made contact with her during the trip, and was told she had been picked up by a “great character”.

They arranged to meet at the Cave Hotel that night but Ms Pytlickova never arrived, and later calls from her sister were not answered.

Ms Pytlickova was reported missing the following day, shortly after her body was discovered by trailbikers in a forestry block in the Hunter Hills, near Waimate.

Riders also found the body of Frandi about 150m away.

In his report, the coroner found that Frandi took his own life.

Frandi had other drug and driving related convictions, and in May 2012, was the subject of a police investigation into historic child abuse.

Police in Timaru had been looking for him in relation to the inquiry on May 26.

Coroner McElrea noted police could have asked the police communications dispatcher to notify all staff that he was being sought, however, found no fault in the actions of police involved.

 

BY JACQUIE WEBBY