Monday, December 1, 2014

'Toyota Corolla crash' victim was stabbed: police


EXPLODING TAKATA  AIRBAGS have created a sad challenge for law enforcement.

Hien Thi Tran:

Takata airbag victims looked like they had been shot or stabbed

November 20, 2014

When police got to the scene of a minor car accident in Alhambra, California in September 2013, they thought the driver, Hai Ming Xu, had been shot in the face.

A similar conclusion was reached by Orlando police responding to an accident a year later -- they believed that the driver, Hien Thi Tran, had been the victim of a stabbing that might have caused the accident.

Court records and police reports show two other fatalities tied to the exploding airbags, which were also both in Honda (HMC) cars:
  • Ashley Parkham, killed in a 2009 accident in Midwest City, Oklahoma.
  • Gurjit Rathore, killed in Richmond, Virginia on Christmas Eve, 2009.

'Car crash' victim was stabbed: police                               

Last updated 15:44, November 30 2014
VICTIM: Matthew Stevens was found lying by his car.
VICTIM: Matthew Stevens was found lying by his car.

Police say a man found lying dead by his car on the Kapiti coast had been stabbed.

Detectives carrying out a homicide investigation into 32-year-old Matthew Stevens' death are now carrying out a search warrant at a Hutt Valley house they have confirmed is a focus of their inquiries.

Police said this afternoon that Stevens, who was found lying dead by his car off the Paekakariki Hill Rd on the Kapiti Coast, had been stabbed about the torso. They are now tracing Stevens' final movements as they hunt for whoever is responsible for his death along with the missing weapon - thought to be a knife.

Stevens was at first thought to have died in a car crash on Thursday or Friday.

Police said an autopsy completed Saturday night confirmed the 32-year-old Hutt Valley man had suffered stab wounds.

The investigation was upgraded today.

Police are currently at an Epuni home where laboratory tents have been erected and a detective confirmed to Fairfax Media their presence there is for a search warrant linked to the homicide investigation.

Detective Sergeant Mike Sears said Stevens had sustained "a number of abrasions" but the stab wounds around his torso were the cause of his death.

"The post mortem confirmed that he had been the victim of an assault and a sustained... number of stab wounds has led to his death."

Police had not yet established where the stabbing took place, Sears said.
"We haven't ruled out whether the assault occurred in his vehicle or at another address."

They were still working to establish whether Stevens had driven is car to the spot he was found dead or whether someone else drove, Sears said.

The police have not found the weapon but believed it was a knife, Sears said.

Police had not established any signs of trouble leading up to Stevens' death so far, Sears he added:

"No signs of anything untoward - so, again, that's a focus of our investigation."

Investigators were trying to trace Stevens' last movements from when he left his home at 10pm on Thursday night to early Friday morning and are seeking sightings of his car in the Hutt Valley and Greater Wellington areas.

Sears said investigators were looking to seize 24 hour surveillance cameras belonging to businesses and Paekakariki Hill Rd area residents that might have captured Stevens' final movements.

Sears said police wanted to hear from anyone who saw Stevens or his vehicle, a white Toyota Corolla with the registration RZ1852, any time from 10pm on Thursday through to 1.30am on Friday 28 November.