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Decapitation confirmed in Petone homicide

Police have confirmed speculation in the Petone community that the homicide of a 71-year-old man on Friday involved a decapitation.

Detective Inspector Shane Cotter said that Police were called to a Jackson Street address around 9.50pm on Friday, where a 71-year-old man was found dead.

A 41-year-old man was arrested on unrelated matters and appeared in the Lower Hutt District Court on charges relating to wilful damage and drug possession. He was remanded in custody.

Police will not speculate on any potential motive for the killing.

Examination of the scene at the Jackson Street Flats is continuing, and Petone residents will notice an increased police presence in the area over the coming days.

A post-mortem was underway yesterday, and Police expect to be able to formally name the deceased today.

Police have made it clear that neither the deceased nor the 41-year-old man who was arrested on Saturday are gang members, and want to reassure the community of Petone that this appears to have been an isolated incident.

Police are still looking to speak with any witnesses to the incident and also anyone who may have information that could assisted with the ongoing inquiries.

They can call Wellington Police on (04) 381 2000, or information can be shared anonymously with Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.