New Zealand police are seeking witnesses who may have seen a hitchhiker near a small North Island town as they hunt for the gun used to murder Australian surfer Sean McKinnon.
Sean's fiancee, Bianca Buckley had the shock of her life at about 2am on Friday when a gunman shot dead the 33-year-old Mr McKinnon before stealing their campervan near Raglan - a popular surf spot.
Alone and desperate for help, Bianca ran 2km barefoot to a nearby farmhouse to raise the alarm.
A 23-year old man has been charged with murder after Mr McKinnon's body was found in his campervan in the small Waikato town of Gordonton at 8am on Friday
Waikato police said on Sunday they are still looking for the gun used in the attack and they're working to return Mr McKinnon's body to his family.
Police are urging anyone who may have spotted a hitchhiker around Gordonton or at nearby Whitikahu during the day on Friday to contact them.
The accused appeared in the Hamilton District Court on Saturday charged with offences including murder, aggravated robbery and making threats to kill.
The man, whose identity has been suppressed, was remanded in custody.
A public tip-off had led to his arrest in the Waikato area on Friday night.
Outside court, Mr McKinnon's sister, Emmeline, told reporters "we just don't know even how to begin to put life together without him".
"The worst thing was telling my mother," Ms McKinnon added.
She said her brother's fiancee had been "amazingly resilient and strong".
"I cannot even begin to understand what she's gone through."
"She's a really strong young woman. We're just really glad she's alive."
Detective Inspector Graham Pitkethley said Ms Buckley remained shocked and traumatised from her ordeal.
"She is thankful that an arrest within a 24-hour period has occurred and we're working with her and her family, and we'll continue to be in touch with her around her welfare," he said.
Mr McKinnon grew up around Warrnambool in southwest Victoria.
Friend Julian Smith said his mate loved to surf big waves along the Victorian coastline.
"He was a lovable, knockabout Aussie guy, loved his surfing," Mr Smith told AAP.
Mr McKinnon's alleged killer is expected back in court on August 27.
Australian Associated Press