Tauranga Police are appealing for sightings of the man accused of the murder of Tauranga mother Ravneet Sangha in the week before her body was found.
The accused can now be named as 23-year-old Deepak Nagpal following the lifting of name suppression during his appearance in Tauranga District Court on June 10.
He did not face any charges in relation to the death of Ms Sangha’s two-year-old daughter Anna who was found at the same house, Bay of Plenty’s Sunlive website reported.
However, further charges are possible.
Judge Paul Geoghegan issued suppression orders relating to the cause of death of Ravneet and Anna, details leading up to the deaths, and all information regarding the ongoing Police investigation.
Nagpal, employed as a packer, was arrested in Auckland on June 7, while Tauranga Police were conducting a detailed search for the toddler, who was not found in the first search of the house. Her body was discovered about 20 hours after her mother’s body was cited.
Police said it was concealed within the house.
Ravneet’s husband and Anna’s father, Dev Sangha, was in the court for Nagpal’s appearance.
Western Bay of Plenty Area Commander Inspector Mike Clement said the Police would like to hear from anyone who knew Nagpal personally or who may have information or sightings of him in Tauranga or Auckland during the previous week.
Nagpal returned to New Zealand from India on June 1.
“We believe that he has travelled between Auckland and Tauranga and back to Auckland during this time, and we would like to hear from anyone who may have sighted him, or was with him, at any point last week or over the weekend.”
Police also wanted to hear of any sightings of him at the Ngatai Road (Otumoetai) address May 25 and 27.
“While we have charged Nagpal, we don’t have a specific line of inquiry. We are interested in any activity at all at this address.”
Nagpal is of Indian descent. He is of slight build, and is about 165cm tall. He wears glasses and has short dark hair. He was living at the Ngatai Rd address before leaving for India several weeks ago.
“To all intents and purposes he did reside at the address, though he did come and go,” Mr Clement said.
More than 20 detectives are still working on the inquiry and the numbers are expected to remain at that level until next week.
“The community has been incredibly helpful in our enquiry and we are just asking for more of the same.”
Mr Clement said the house would be returned to the next of kin this week.
Nagpal will reappear in Tauranga District Court on June 25.
Our Staff Reporter adds:
Members of the family, friends and fellow taxi drivers of Dev Sangha attended the funeral of Ravneet and Anna in Tauranga on June 11. There were at least 600 men and women mourning the tragedy.
Mr Sangha was in India and rushed back on hearing the murder of his wife. He was continuously sobbing at the funeral, while friends and relatives were trying to console him. A number of his friends were seen comforting him.
Supreme Sikh Council of New Zealand President Daljeet Singh, speaking on behalf of the family, said that this was a disastrous experience for Mr Sangha and his family.
He said Mr Sangha and his wife had arrived in New Zealand about six years ago, in search of a prosperous life, with the vision of establishing a family.
“This tragedy was most upsetting. Anna should have been a happy girl playing with her mother. We do not want to see a two-year-old child sharing a coffin. A promising journey of a happy family has ended cruelly,” he said.
Photo: Dev Sangha seen outside the Tauranga District Court (on June 10), where Deepak Nagpal faced charges relating to the murder of Ravneet Sangha. NZP Picture by Ross Brown