Police investigating the death of Linda Woods in Kaikohe on Thursday 1 June have made a breakthrough, having collected a DNA profile from the scene that is believed to be linked to the offender.
"This is a significant piece of evidence, and allows us to begin a new phase of our investigation," says Detective Inspector Rhys Johnston of Northland CIB.
"We are determined to find this offender so we can get some answers for the victim's family, and put the community's minds at rest.
"Police are now making plans to request DNA samples from men who fit the age range and description of the offender so we can eliminate them from our enquiries."
Police's message to the offender is to come forward and speak to us as soon as possible.
"We are confident we will identify you at some point. You can lessen the impact of your actions by coming forward now.
"It's the right thing to do for this family, who have already suffered so much. It's the right thing to do for our community, who are rightly alarmed after this incident.
"We are ready to talk to you – just come forward."
Police are again appealing to anyone in the community who recognises the description of the offender or the clothing left at the scene, or know him from the image shared yesterday, to speak with us.
The clothing left at the scene includes size US13 New Balance Versi Comfort Ride sneakers, colour dark grey and black, along with grey/faded black cut-off jean shorts, with a button fly made up of black buttons that include a "B" shaped logo.
He is described as male, Māori or Polynesian, aged somewhere between 40-60 years old, and is solidly built.
He has dark-coloured short hair speckled with grey, possibly curly.
Along with the shorts, he was wearing a dark-coloured basketball-style singlet, with thin red and white piping around the sleeves and collar.
He was wearing another short-sleeved top under the singlet.
Please contact Police with any information via our dedicated phone number, 0800 LINDAW (0800 546329). We have members of the investigation team ready to speak with you.
Please call 105 if you can’t get through on the 0800 number.
Information can also be shared anonymously through Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.
Issued by Police Media Centre