Operation Daleyza – Homicide investigation launched into Mt Albert death (+ CCTV images)

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Source: New Zealand Police (District News)

Attribute to Detective Inspector Aaron Pascoe, Auckland City CIB:

Police have launched a homicide investigation into the death of a woman who was located deceased in Mt Albert yesterday.

At around 4.30pm yesterday the body of a female was located in an area of bush off to the side of a walkway between Grande Avenue and Summit Drive.

27-year-old Lena Zhang, also known as Lena Zhang Harrap was found dead shortly after this CCTV image was taken. Can you help Police solve this crime?

A post mortem is taking place today and formal identification is yet to be completed, however Police believe the deceased is 27-year-old Lena Zhang, also known as Lena Zhang Harrap, who was reported missing yesterday after leaving her Mt Albert home.

Lena left her address on Jersey Ave in Mt Albert at around 6.30am to go for her regular walk to Ōwairaka Domain.

Police are appealing for any sightings of Lena yesterday morning between 6.30am and 7.30am during her walk.

Lena is around 130cms and has Down Syndrome and would have been seen walking at a slow pace. She was wearing a long-sleeved purple top and dark coloured pants.

Enquiries indicate the likely route she has walked is from Jersey Avenue and along Richardson Road, before turning up Grande Avenue where she is sighted on CCTV at around 7.30am.

The Operation Daleyza investigation team has been carrying out a number of enquiries in relation to the death including a scene examination, an area canvass and CCTV enquiries.

Our investigation has already identified and spoken with people who saw Lena during her walk yesterday morning.

As a result of CCTV enquiries Police are releasing an image of a person of interest to the investigation.

Person of interest in the death of 27-year-old Lena Zhang, also known as Lena Zhang Harrap.

This male, who is seen wearing a blue jumper, was captured on CCTV walking along Grande Ave shortly after 7.30am. He is described as dark-skinned, balding hair, a distinctive mark on his forehead and was wearing a mask.

Person of interest in the death of 27-year-old Lena Zhang, also known as Lena Zhang Harrap.

Police believe this person can assist our investigation and we are appealing to the public for information relating to this person’s identity so we can locate and speak with them.

Police are appealing to anyone who saw Lena or the individual pictured walking in Mt Albert yesterday morning to contact the investigation team.

“We also want to hear from any residents who live along any of the above streets, including Summit Drive, who have CCTV cameras that may have captured Lena or this male in a blue jumper walking past their property.”

Anyone with CCTV is urged to contact the Operation Daleyza investigation team by phoning 0800 325 399 (0800 DALEYZA). You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Police are working closely with and supporting Lena’s family who are understandably devastated by this news and they are being provided with Victim Support.

Lena’s family have requested privacy and ask for media not to contact them at this extremely difficult time.

“We know the news about this homicide investigation will be distressing to the public and to the local community in particular and we want to reassure them that Police have a large investigation team working hard to identify and locate anyone involved in Lena’s death.

The local public will see an increased Police presence in the Mt Albert area, and we will be carrying out additional reassurance patrols and area enquiries as we speak to local residents.

The walkway between Grande Avenue and Summit Drive remains closed at this time.

“Anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the area around Grande Ave, Summit Drive or the Ōwairaka Domain yesterday morning is asked to contact Police on 0800 325 399 (0800 DALEYZA).


Nick Baker/NZ Police