The family of missing Christchurch woman Amy Elizabeth Farrall have spoken out about their devastating loss, after her body was discovered in a car boot last night.
Ms Farrall, a 24-year-old caregiver, had been missing since Saturday night. Police discovered her body in the boot of a Toyota Corolla outside a New World supermarket in Woolston.
In a statement released to media this afternoon, Ms Farrall's family described her as a "kind and caring girl", who was "much-loved by her many friends and close family".
"Amy loved her animals and was always helping people in need. She worked as a caregiver for Richmond Fellowship in Christchurch.
"As a family we are devastated that her caring nature appears to have been tragically taken advantage of."
The family has requested privacy and time to grieve the tragic death.
Investigators believe the homicide may be linked to a man who has already been arrested following a violent attack on two tourists on Sunday. One woman was left with serious stab injuries to her neck, the other with broken bones and pelvic injuries.
The alleged attacker was brought into custody by the armed offenders squad in the early hours of this morning, following a five-hour stand off with police. Officers say his car, a blue Nissan Terrano, is a "vehicle of interest" to detectives working on the homicide.
Police have confirmed the 38-year-old was "known" to Ms Farrall, but won't confirm how they are linked or if they lived together.
Around 25 police officers are currently working on the inquiry and several detectives will be in the West Coast over the coming week.
Detective Inspector Tom Fitzgerald says the car Ms Farrall was found inside is thought to have been abandoned there at around 10am Saturday morning. Anyone who was at the supermarket at that time is asked to contact police.
A post-mortem was conducted earlier this afternoon and police are expected to reveal more information later today.
The two tourists involved in yesterday's attacks – one a 28-year-old German woman, the other a 27-year-old Japanese woman – are in Grey Base Hospital in a stable condition.
Tasman district commander Superintendent Richard Chambers says both are receiving continuing medical support.
"Naturally they are very relieved to know we have apprehended this man," he says.
"However, they are still extremely traumatised and upset after what they have been through - which is entirely understandable."
The women will be formally interviewed once their conditions have improved.
Police seek vehicle sightings
Meanwhile, police are asking for the public's help as they work to re-trace the steps of the man in their custody.
He allegedly used a dark Nissan Terrano to flee from police during a 90-minute chase and five-hour standoff overnight.
The man was wanted in connection with the stabbing and bashing of two tourists near Franz Joseph at around 4pm on Sunday.
Detectives now believe the Terrano is connected with the death of Ms Farrall.
The vehicle is believed to have travelled between Christchurch and the West Coast some time from late-morning on the same day.
The officer in charge of the chase, Tasman police superintendent Richard Chambers, says the suspect had to be stopped by road spikes after a 90-minute chase up State Highway 6.
"That's when the five-hour stand-off began," he says. "We appealed to him for a long time obviously and he was non-compliant and eventually we had to be assertive."
Supt Chambers says while police were negotiating with him, the man was pouring petrol on his vehicle, himself and the road around him.
Eventually, after hours of failed negotiations, police used a dog to bring him into custody. No officers were injured in the incident.
The man is currently receiving medical treatment for dog bites.
He is still on the West Coast and, while no court appearance has been scheduled, police are expected to lay charges soon.
The investigation is now focused on the movements of two cars – the Nissan Terrano, registration WR4174, and the white Toyota Corolla Ms Farrall was found in.
"We are appealing to the public for any sightings of the Terrano on roads between Christchurch and the West Coast on Saturday, but also in the Woolston area, including Wildberry Street where Ms Farrall lived, and elsewhere around Christchurch on Saturday.
"At the same time we are also seeking information about the movements of Ms Farrall's white Toyota Corolla, registration number WR2685, between about 9 and 10am, from the vicinity of Wildberry St and Ferry Rd through to where it was eventually located at New World in St Johns St, Woolston."
Police say there have already been a number of "positive sightings" reported across the city.
A post-mortem is still underway in Christchurch this afternoon but the findings will be sent to the coroner and police will not confirm the nature of any injuries.
Christchurch police can be contacted on (03) 3637400 or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.