The teenager whose body was found two weeks ago in a burnt-out car near Havelock North has been said goodbye to hundreds of mourners in Hastings today.
The death of 18-year-old Ariki Rigby was initially treated as inexplicable, but is now the subject of a murder investigation.
Her body was found in the vehicle at River Road Recreational Reserve after family reported her missing on Sept. 2.
The hearse containing her body was escorted by about 20 motorcyclists to Ascend Global Church this morning for the funeral service.
A family spokesperson, Michael Ngahuka, said his cousin was a beautiful, passionate person who lived “full throttle”.
He said today’s service was about showing love and respect for her, but the whānau will not be closed until there is justice.
Ngahuka said the family encouraged anyone with information to contact the police.
Police believe the vehicle – a dark gray Toyota Corona from the mid-1990s – was brought to the reserve between 10pm Friday, September 2 and 7am the following day.
They continue to rely on information from anyone who went to the River Road parking lot between that time and saw the vehicle or anyone in the area.
Anyone in the know can call 105 or Crimestoppers anonymously.