NEW ZEALAND DETECTIVES INVESTIGATE MURDER IN COOK ISLANDS

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand (September 27, 2002 – Radio Australia)---New Zealand crime investigators have gone to the Cook Islands to help solve Rarotonga's first murder in eight years.

Radio Australia's New Zealand correspondent Gillian Bradford reports from Auckland.

"The victim, Tuakana Teama, aged 31, was found bludgeoned to death in her home near the capital, Avarua, on Sunday morning (September 22)."

No known enemies

Bradford says, "The discovery has led to one of the biggest investigations undertaken by Cook Islands police.

"The country also requested help from New Zealand, which has sent two analysts and a forensic scientist to investigate the crime scene."

She says, "The victim was well regarded in the Cook Islands community for her work with youth and church groups."

No motive for the murder has been established.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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