Net tightens in homicide case

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Police have arrested two more people in relation to assistance given to those now charged with the alleged murder of Justin McFarlane.

A 26-year-old Oamaru woman is facing a charge of being an accessory after the fact of murder. A 17-year-old Oamaru man was also arrested yesterday on the same charge. They were due to appear in the Dunedin District Court yesterday.

Search teams were yesterday continuing a search of an 500-600m area of Maheno-Kakanui Road for items of interest in the Operation Steelers investigation.

A number of items of interest have been located by a team of about 20 people.

Involved in the search is a police team of seven specialist search staff from Christchurch.

They are being assisted by 14 volunteers from the North Otago Search and Rescue Club, the North Otago Tramping Club and the local fishing club.

“Their assistance is hugely appreciated and they’ve been fantastic in giving up their time to help Police in their search for items of interest,” Detective Senior Sergeant John Ferguson said.

The road search was expected to be completed yesterday, while the scene examination at Mr McFarlane’s house was completed on Tuesday night.

Four people, charged with murder, have been remanded in custody to appear in the Timaru District Court on October 1.

They are 23-year-old Ryan Warren Geary-Smart, 18-year-old Palmerson man Steven Kenneth Boskell and two 22-year-old men, who have been granted interim name suppression.

There are ongoing inquiries in relation to a fifth person’s possible involvement in the homicide.

A 52-year-old woman has also been arrested and charged with accessory after the fact to murder.

A service for Mr McFarlane will be held at 2pm today, at the Glenavy Hall.

A death notice included a message from the 35-year-old’s children Kaleb and Jayden.

“To our Dad, we will miss going to your place for weekends, going for rides on the farm with you on your motorbike, eating lots of chocolate and pineapple lumps and watching Spongebob and rugby. We will miss your cuddles and your roasties for tea. Most of all we will miss our dad.”

By Rebecca Ryan