Detectives in New Zealand are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a man whose naked body was discovered in a “grim” backyard scene.
Armed police stormed the Hei Hei property, west of Christchurch, on Tuesday afternoon to discover the body of 33-year-old Rikiana Hirawani and three white dogs.
According to witness accounts, the man’s body was being mauled by the animals before police arrived.
One man told Stuff he yelled at the dogs to “keep off the body” until police arrived.
A dog was reportedly removed from the front of the property on Tuesday afternoon, but police broke through a back fence to extract the remaining animals.
Neighbours said they did not notice anything out of the ordinary until they heard sirens on Tuesday, but a witness said they felt “a bit shell-shocked” by the discovery.
Police cordoned off the property, where a mobile police base and forensic tent were set up as officers and a specialist search team examined the scene through to Wednesday.
On Thursday, New Zealand Police Detective Senior Sergeant Colin Baillie said Mr Hirawani’s death was not being treated as suspicious.
In a statement, he said an autopsy had been performed and the case would be referred to the coroner.
“Inquiries are ongoing to determine the circumstances that led to the death of Hiriwani (sic),” Sgt Baillie said.
“Cordons around the property will be removed this afternoon, when the scene examination has been completed.”
“Police extend our condolences to Mr Hiriwani’s family.”
A correction was later issued, apologising for misspelling the Hirawani surname.
A nearby resident, who said he had lived in Hei Hei all his life, told Stuff armed police were regularly at the house.
The man, who did not want to be identified, said he believed the property was gang-affiliated.
Another resident said he saw armed police at the same property about two weeks ago, Stuff reports.
Police reportedly searched the same property in October 2018 after the fatal shooting of King Cobras gang member Luke Sears, also known as Luke Riddell, on a rural Canterbury road.