The family of a man who died after being stabbed at Waihi Beach on New Year's Day say they are desperate to know why the "honest and humble" 64-year-old was killed.
Ex-pat Kiwi Robert Murray Wilkinson was on holiday with his wife in Waihi Beach when he was stabbed while investigating a noise he had heard in the early hours of the morning.
Robert was stabbed in the back of the head and neck outside a Beach Road property in Waihi Beach. (Inset) He was a keen fisherman and much loved father and husband.
He was taken to Waikato Hospital in critical condition but died yesterday afternoon.
His wife Luise, daughter Cory Rance and son Dan Wilkinson released a statement to Hamilton police this afternoon.
They say they are “desperate” to understand why Robert was killed.
“'It's impossible to express the complete devastation the family are now going through,” says Dan.
“While we appreciate that most of you will sympathise or feel empathy for us, what we need most is to find the person or person's responsible for my father's murder.
“If you know anything, anything at all, even if you have photographs that show the crowds and what was happening in and around the area that night, please let the police know. Somebody has the answer to my dad's death.”
Dan says his children and his sister's children have been robbed of their grandfather's love and Luisa has lost the love of her life “due to senseless, brutal violence”.
“My dad is a selfless, honest and humble man who would be horrified at the attention he is receiving. We owe it to my dad to stop this happening to another family, so no one else has to have their life ruined like us.”
The family is requesting privacy to heal without undue attention.
As the homicide investigation continues, District Crime Manager, Detective Inspector Chris Page says Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Counties Manukau police districts have been joined today by Auckland-based members of the Specialist Search Group.
"There are currently about 37 staff working on Operation Brad. Today we've expanded our search area in the hunt for the weapon used in the attack which happened early on Tuesday morning."
"Ground and rooftop searches are underway and we will continue to go door to door as the search continues. In accordance with that, anyone who finds something unusual on their property be it clothing, a potential weapon or anything else, leave it where it is and contact police."
Inspector Dana McDonald says the attack was a random act of violence and police are working hard to catch the offender.
“Police have found a number of items of interest but are still looking for the weapon the man was stabbed with. We believe he was stabbed in the back of the head and in his neck.
“We don't believe this is a start of a spate of attacks, but rather just a random act of violence.”
Dana says a medical examination of the man's wounds will be completed to help determine what type of weapon was used in the attack.
Police are still appealing for photos and video footage from people who were in the Beach Road area on Tuesday morning.
People with such images are asked to email them to police, along with their consent to use them, to firstname.lastname@example.org