Man Charged with Murder After Body of Missing Woman Found in Northland

After a body was discovered in Waipoua Forest, Northland, a 65-year-old man was arrested and charged with murder. Acting Detective Inspector Kevan Verry, Northland field crime manager, believes the body is that of Northland lady Gaelene Bright.

Bright was last seen in the early hours of May 1 at her home address. “A scene guard is presently stationed in the area, and Police will not be able to reveal any further information about the fatality until a formal identification is completed,” Det Insp Verry stated.

A significant search effort involving police investigators, police dogs, and citizen search and rescue teams was performed in the Waimamaku district and Waipoua Forest over the previous five days, according to Det Insp Verry. The body was discovered in the jungle along State Highway 12 in Waimamaku on Tuesday afternoon.

The scene investigation is still ongoing and will take some time. A scene investigation is also being conducted at the victim’s residence. On Tuesday afternoon, authorities discovered and interviewed the 65-year-old, who has since been charged with murder.

On May 19, he will appear in Hastings District Court. According to police, no one else is wanted in connection with this case. Det Insp Verry described the situation as terrible. “During this terribly difficult moment, our thoughts and condolences are with Ms Bright’s family.”

The travels of Bright’s automobile, a white 2000 Holden Rodeo 4×4 with the registration number YW7634, between Northland and Te Kuiti on May 3 and 4 are still being investigated by police.

Anyone who has seen this car or has information about it should call 105 and reference file number 220511/2799 or Operation Bright. You can also leave anonymous information by phoning Crime Stoppers at 0800 555 111.

Police are unable to provide any additional information due to pending legal processes.

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