close
close

Waitaanga murder investigation: Police investigate cause of death from gunshot wound, appeal for surveillance of black van

A homicide investigation into a suspicious house fire in Waitaanga last year concluded the man’s cause of death was a gunshot wound.

Emergency services were called to a house on Waitaanga Rd, Waitaanga, Ruapehu District, on the morning of Wednesday, October 11.

The house was severely damaged and a body was later found at the scene, prompting a homicide investigation.

Extensive DNA testing revealed the victim to be 55-year-old Sidney “Ross” Bridson, a father of four.

advertisementAdvertise on NZME.

“The house was seriously damaged before emergency services arrived and the man’s body was later found at the scene. An autopsy revealed that the cause of death was a gunshot wound,” Detective Senior Sergeant Gerard Bouterey said this evening.

New Plymouth Police are currently appealing for sightings of a late model black LDV van which was seen in the area around the time of the incident.

Police investigating the homicide are interested in sightings of a late model black LDV van that was seen in the area around the time of the incident.  Photo / New Zealand Police
Police investigating the homicide are interested in sightings of a late model black LDV van that was seen in the area around the time of the incident. Photo / New Zealand Police

“We believe there were two people in the van at the time. The driver was described as a Caucasian male, believed to be in his 20s, Bouterey said.

Bouterey said a small but dedicated team has been working on the investigation since October.

advertisementAdvertise on NZME.

“We are making good progress and we are confident that police will establish what happened and who is responsible for Ross Bridson’s murder.

“The last six months have been difficult for Ross’ family and friends as they come to terms with the death of a loved one, and we continue to strive to give them the answers they need,” Bouterey said.

Police want to speak to two passengers in a black LDV van. People living in the Waitaanga area have also been urged to think back to October last year and contact police if they remember seeing the black van in the days and weeks leading up to Bridson’s death.

If you have seen this vehicle or have any information that may assist with the investigation and have not yet reported the information to police, please contact police on 0800 287 453 or online https://www.police.govt.nz/use-105using the “Update Report” and entering the file number: 231011/2157.

Alternatively, you can report any information anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.