Auckland police have made a breakthrough in the homicide case of Shalvin Prasad. The car belonging to the 21-year-old Fijian-Indian was found dumped in an industrial area in Auckland this morning.
Mr Prasad died on Thursday morning after he was set alight.
Auckland police found Mr Prasad's car this morning on Plunket Ave in an industrial area in Manukau. Mark Julian recognised the vehicle after watching 3 News.
“As soon as I saw the police man there I recognised it off the news last night,” he says.
An extensive forensic examination is being carried out by police to establish how long the car had been there. They want to hear from any business owners in the area who might have CCTV footage.
Mr Julian is familiar with the area, and can't recall seeing the vehicle before today.
“I usually go through in the early hours of the morning, and normally there's not a lot of vehicles around there at all. I went through there yesterday morning and I'm pretty positive I didn't see it yesterday morning.”
Mr Prasad's burning body was found by a person walking their dog in Kingseat, south Auckland, at 6:30am on Thursday morning. His RAV4 had been missing since then.
Mr Prasad told his parents he was going out to play pool on Wednesday night.
Shooters pool bar in Manukau is about 2km from where Mr Prasad's car was found. A spokesperson for the bar confirmed police had requested their CCTV footage but said there was no sign Mr Prasad had been there at all.
Today would have been Mr Prasad's 22nd birthday. Instead of celebrating it with friends and family, his final moments alive were spent burning on the side of the road.
Mr Prasad was the youngest child in his family. His brother Pravin released a statement saying "he is full of life. Family and friends are the centre of his world. He loves to play soccer and enjoyed his job.”
He worked at PAK'nSAVE as a produce assistant in Botany Downs.
Mr Prasad's family have asked for privacy as they prepare for his funeral tomorrow.