The death of an Australian man who was yanked into a woodchipper late a year ago is being investigated by police as suspicious.
This morning police announced they had determined the death to be "suspicious", and officers from the Homicide Investigation Unit would be assisting local detectives.
Detectives raided the area and uncovered a number of "items of interest" - all of which have been seized for forensic examination, Pettiford told reporters.
Bruce Saunders died instantly when he fell into a woodchipper on a private property at Goomboorian.
Pettiford said detectives had been working "around the clock" since the 54-year-old man's death on November 12.
Pettiford said several people who knew Saunders contacted police and said his death was likely not an accident, according to the New Zealand Herald.
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"Information we received during the course of our coronial investigations has lead us to believe that the death is suspicious and we have a number of detectives and police experts investigating this incident".
"We've now reached an informed conclusion that the death of Mr Saunders is suspicious", he said.
Saunders and his friends were helping a woman clean her property as an "act of goodwill" when he was killed, according to the report.
Investigators described the scene as "horrific" but originally treated the incident as an accident. Questions were raised about the men using the shredder in the dark but Pettiford said the incident, which occured at 7.40pm, happened when it had only just started to go dark.
Inspector Paul Algie said at the time of the incident that it was a grisly scene.
"It was actually quite horrific". Both friends told officers they did not see him enter the woodchipper. "So they're obviously quite traumatized now".