Ariki Rigby

A year on from Napier’s Ariki Rigby’s death and police are still no closer to apprehending those responsible, believing “loyalties” are preventing them from speaking.

Ariki was 18 when she was brutally murdered, her body found in a burned-out vehicle at River Road Recreational Reserve, Havelock North on September 5, 2022.

Her body was initially mistaken for that of an animal, with her remains later identified as human by a dog walker.

Detective Inspector Dave de Lange in his most recent update on Ariki’s murder investigation said police’s focus remained on holding to account those responsible for her death and providing the whānau with answers.

“We would ask people to exercise caution when discussing the case and reading or sharing information online about the case,” de Lange said.

“We would also reiterate our appeal to the public for anyone who has genuine information which may help us to report this to police.

“We believe people in the community know what happened to Ariki, but loyalties are preventing them from speaking – please do the right thing and come forward.”

In a statement a whānau spokesperson said the family were mourning Ariki’s death and were mindful that the one-year anniversary of her death is coming up.

“However, we want to get on with trying to find those responsible.

“We are aware of the misinformation that is circulating online and within the community, and the impact it may have on any outcome.”

A petition was started by Ariki’s sister Anahera Rigby asking for ‘competent investigations for incompetent policing’ and has to date garnered 2,859 signatures, with the next goal being 5,000 signatures.

The petition reads: “New Zealand deserves so much better; no whanau ever need to experience the added trauma that has been inflicted on our people during the darkest times of their life.”

If you have any information you can get in touch with police via 105 and reference file number 220905/1265.

Alternatively, you can contact Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

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