Tuesday, September 8, 2009



Family of Tisha Lowry cried and hugged as a second body, believed to be the missing Christchurch woman, was removed from under her neighbour's house.
Three days after police announced the discovery of two women buried beneath the Aranui home of a 32-year-old man, the second body was removed at 7pm yesterday.
Lowry's family, including her mother Tanya Lowry and sister Leanne Hodder, held each other for support as the body was loaded into a hearse in the driveway of the Wainoni Rd house.
Behind them, friends performed a haka while about 50 people looked on.
Tisha Lowry's aunt, Joanne Paul, said the family were too distressed to comment and "just want to be left alone".
Lowry, 28, was last seen walking towards her Hampshire St home, two doors down from the murder scene, on September 25 last year.
The body of a 35-year-old woman was removed on Saturday.
The homeowner has since been charged with murdering his wife.
Both women were buried under the floor of the two-storey home, accessed through a manhole in a cupboard at the bottom of the stairs.
Part of the house had to be demolished to reach the bodies.
The autopsy on the first body had been completed, but formal identification was not expected for a few days.
Police said details would not be released.
Detective Inspector Tom Fitzgerald said further charges would be considered when the investigation was completed.
The homeowner is due to reappear in the Christchurch District Court on Friday.
Both his name and that of his dead wife are suppressed.
A Christchurch man who spent three years helping the couple fight to regain custody of their three children said yesterday they used to pray together in the lounge of the Wainoni Rd house.
Peter Burns, who runs the Dad4Justice blog, was the Family Court advocate for the dead woman and the man accused of her murder.
The couple contacted Burns through the internet when they moved from Taupo to Christchurch about three years ago.
The woman told Burns that Child, Youth and Family (CYF) had removed their children after she asked them for support.
"They had come to Christchurch for a fresh start ... . She was a lovely girl and I was encouraging her to get herself together to get her children back."
Burns continued to coach the couple to build a stable family unit so they could win back their children.
"We used to pray together in the lounge.Another Taupo senior minister Keith Harrington, who met the couple when they were part of his congregation, said the churchgoing community was "shocked, incredulous and overwhelmed".
The couple had married in the church and were regular attendees.
He said the couple moved to Christchurch after the children were placed in care and made several return visits to see the children throughout the past three years.
"We are thankful that the children are safe."

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