Trial by Social Media – Police focus on facts

Missing Kapiti woman Breanna Muriwai, also pictured are cars and a bag Police would like more information about.
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Police investigating the ongoing case of missing 22 year old Kāpiti woman Breanna Muriwai remain focussed on the facts of the case rather than the apparent trial by social media.

Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Thompson told KCNews Police are aware of the social media posts but have no further comment on this.

“Our focus remains on the investigation and finding out what happened to Breanna. We are in regular contact with Breanna’s family and know what an extremely difficult and painful time it is for them.” 

There has been significant speculation on social media about the case and those who may or may not have been involved. However it seems all of the amateur sleuths would be better handing any relevant information they have to Police investigators.

Police on the case were hopeful new information aired on Ten 7 Aotearoa would prompt people to come forward with new information.

Breanna was last seen in the early hours of Sunday 28 August 2022 at Te Horo Beach.

“There are people out there who know more about the circumstances of Breanna’s disappearance, and we want to hear from them,” Detective Senior Sergeant Thompson says.

He says her family is in turmoil. “They need to know where their much-loved daughter and family member is, and we are committed to finding answers for them.”

Police have done a significant amount of work on this investigation, including looking at Breanna’s movements over the Friday, Saturday and into the early hours of Sunday morning.

Breanna was picked up on Friday 26 August 2022 by a male friend from the Wellington area, they travelled to Palmerston North and stayed overnight through to Saturday night.

“The last CCTV images we have of Breanna were captured around 11:15am on Saturday at a liquor store in Palmerston North. That evening, Breanna wanted to return to her home in Paraparaumu and her friend agreed to take her.

“As they start to head back late on Saturday evening, they pick up another man and drive south, stopping around 12:45am at Kimberley Reserve, near Levin, for a short time. The next stop is in Ōtaki, where Breanna’s friend withdraws money from Breanna’s account.

“They then drive a short distance to park outside Hunting and Fishing in Ōtaki’s main street. From here they travel to meet another person at Hyde Park, on the corner of State Highway 1 and Te Horo Beach Road.

“After this, Breanna and the two men she travelled south with go to Te Horo Beach Road, parking on the beach access on Sea Road.”

Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Thompson says this is where things become unclear.

“Breanna is reported to have run off down the beach and has not been seen since. Her phone stopped polling earlier in the night and her bank account has not been touched. She has not been in contact with family or friends, nor has she accessed her social media accounts. This is completely out of character for her.

Detective Thompson says Police have identified and spoken with the men that were with Breanna a number of times, but this has only given them more questions than answers. “We are keeping an open mind as to what has happened to Breanna and continue to treat her disappearance as unexplained.”

“We are now asking people to contact us if they saw this Peugeot (picture attached) on the night of the 27/28 August 2022 in the area of Kimberley Reserve, Ōtaki Main Road, Hyde Park, Te Horo Sea Road beach access, Peka Peka and the former Marycrest school area.

“We are also interested in hearing from anyone who saw a green early model Honda (picture attached) from the early hours of Monday 29 August 2022.

Police are still keen to hear from anyone who has seen the purple suitcase (picture attached) as they believe it has come from the Peugeot vehicle and belongs to one of the men Breanna was with that evening.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Police by visiting their local station or calling 105, quoting file number 220829/5320.

Information can also be provided anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

Detective Thompson says “We continue to encourage anyone with information to do the right thing and reach out to Police.”