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Gurjit death: Forensic scientists swoop in on house to find clues

The 27-year-old from Ludhiana was found dead on January 29. (Facebook)

Investigators and scientists have swarmed the Dunedin neighbourhood where Kiwi-Indian Gurjit Singh was found dead in what the police are describing as an “unexplained death”.

A friend found Gurjit’s body in a pool of blood and shattered glass outside the 27-year-old’s house in the suburb of Pine Hill on January 29. On Tuesday, Detective Senior Sergeant Kallum Croudis said Dunedin-based investigators and Christchurch-based ESR scientists were continuing to examine the scene. 

"A significant effort is being put into establishing the circumstances that led to this unexplained death," he said.

"A team of 25 investigators are interviewing and speaking with family, friends and work colleagues of the victim, to try and establish his movements prior to his death."

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He said police had a responsibility "on behalf of the victim’s family and the wider community (notwithstanding our Coronial responsibilities), to establish fact". A post-mortem examination is scheduled for Wednesday in Christchurch.

“Haan main khush a (Yes, I’m happy),” Gurjit Singh told his friend Priyanka, name changed, a day before he was found dead in a pool of blood and shattered glass in Dunedin.

“He had a love marriage just a few months back and he was planning a vacation to Christchurch with his wife, who was scheduled to reach New Zealand next month. He told me he had already booked an Airbnb for the trip,” says Priyanka.

The body of the 27-year-old was found outside his Hillary St residence in the South Island city on Monday, January 29. Police are describing it as an “unexplained death” and actively pursuing the possibility he was murdered.

A friend has reportedly told police Gurjit had been worried for his safety the last few days after a break-in attempt at his house. Priyanka confirmed this in a chat with The Indian Weekender.       

“He did mention once that someone was spying and I asked him to take extra care of it. He also mentioned that his area is super safe. He added that he never locks his house whenever he goes out.”
As police investigations are ongoing, details are emerging that put Gurjit as a great friend and the only son with three elder sisters in the family back in Punjab. 

“[He was] always supportive not only to me but to everyone. So many people, I mean, friends came to my life [sic] but nobody stayed longer…but he was the one who was with me until yesterday,” Priyanka says. 

Gurjit arrived in New Zealand in 2015 on a student visa, and struggled his way up to finally take up work as a fibre telecommunications technician with Chorus. 

“He was doing really good in Dunedin. He used to tell me the income and taking advice [sic] how he can send it to India to set up his business in India,” Priyanka says.

Police are urging anyone with information about the incident or who witnessed unusual activity at Hillary Street between January 28 and 29 to contact them at 105 or make an online report at 105.police.govt.nz, referencing file number 240129/7479.

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