Flaxmere Man Charged with 2019 Murder of Kathleen Kawana

A 47-year-old man from Flaxmere has been arrested and charged with the 2019 murder of Kathleen Kawana, a 46-year-old mother of eight. Kawana's body was found in an abandoned house in Ruatoria five weeks after she went missing from her Titahi Bay home.

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Nitish Verma
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Flaxmere Man Charged with 2019 Murder of Kathleen Kawana

Flaxmere Man Charged with 2019 Murder of Kathleen Kawana

A 47-year-old man from Flaxmere has been arrest, made, homicide and charged with the murder of Kathleen Kawana, a 46-year-old mother of eight who disappeared from her Titahi Bay home in June 2019. Kawana's body was found in an abandoned house in Ruatoria in August 2019, approximately five weeks after she was reported missing.

Why this matters: The arrest and charging of the suspect brings hope to the family and community affected by the tragedy, and serves as a reminder of the importance of perseverance and dedication in solving cold cases. It also highlights the need for continued efforts to address and prevent violence against women and marginalized communities.

The man, arrested, case, death marks a significant development in the nearly five-year-old homicide investigation. New, Police Detective Inspector Dave de Lange stated, "We know Kathleen's family have long hoped for answers and the investigation team has worked hard to get to this point. Holding to account the person responsible for her murder has been our focus, and we hope this brings some relief to Kathleen's family."

The 47-year-old suspect was arrested on May 13, 2024, and is scheduled to appear in the Hastings District Court on May 14. As the matter is now before the courts, police are unable to provide further comment on the specifics of the case at this time.

Kathleen Kawana's disappearance and the subsequent discovery of her body in 2019 shocked the tight-knit communities of Titahi Bay and Ruatoria. The 46-year-old was last seen at her home in Titahi Bay, a small coastal town north of Wellington, in June 2019. An extensive search operation was launched, involving local police, search and rescue teams, and volunteers from the community.

Tragically, Kawana's body was found in an abandoned property in Ruatoria, a small town on the East Coast of the North Island, approximately 500 kilometers from her home. The discovery devastated her family and friends, who had held out hope for her safe return.

The man, charged, murder, death of the Flaxmere man nearly five years after Kawana's disappearance and death represents a significant step forward in the case. While the road ahead remains long for Kathleen Kawana's loved ones, the prospect of holding the person responsible for her murder accountable offers a glimmer of hope and the potential for some measure of closure.

Key Takeaways

  • A 47-year-old man from Flaxmere arrested and charged with murder of Kathleen Kawana.
  • Kawana, 46, disappeared from Titahi Bay in June 2019 and was found dead in Ruatoria in August 2019.
  • The arrest brings hope to the family and community affected by the tragedy.
  • The suspect is scheduled to appear in Hastings District Court on May 14, 2024.
  • The case highlights the need to address and prevent violence against women and marginalized communities.