Friends and family are hoping for answers on the death of wife Kerikeri Bailey Magill. Photo / provided
The family and friends of a woman from Kerikeri whose body was found in a stream almost a month ago are appealing for help in solving the mystery of her death.
Bailey Magill, who had just turned 36, was located at Waipapa Stream, near Waipapa Landing on Landing Rd, by a member of the public on May 22.
His vehicle, a silver mover, had been parked in the grounds of Cherry Park House, a council-owned arts centre, for several days before the sad discovery.
His death is currently described as “unexplained” by police.
Her relatives and friends are increasingly anxious for answers about how she died, so they can continue the grieving process and hopefully find some degree of closure.
Bailey’s father-in-law, Kevin Waterman, was convinced that members of the Kerikeri community had seen things that might help the police investigation, but had not yet realized that the information they had might be important.
He wanted to share his photo, and a photo of his van, in case it jogs anyone’s memory. None of the information was too trivial.
Police had earlier requested any sightings of Bailey or his pale silver Toyota Estima between May 12 and May 22.
Waterman said her daughter-in-law was of average height (about 5ft 6in or 1.68m) and very thin with shoulder length dark brown hair. She had several tattoos on her arms and a new one on her throat.
She lived in her vehicle and hung out with questionable people.
“But she was loved by her family and we miss her very much. She was a creative person, she loved nature and the environment. She was very artistic, flamboyant and intelligent,” he said.
“We’re just hoping to get answers, clarifications.”
Bailey’s van was almost empty when it was picked up by the police.
The whereabouts of his phone, clothes and self-inflating mattress was another mystery.
Her jewelry, including a custom-made necklace by a Kerikeri jeweller, was also missing.
Any information about his affairs would also help the investigation.
Bailey was cremated after a family service. Around 80 friends held a memorial gathering at the Kerikeri Basin Reserve and decorated the bridge on Landing Rd with flowers and messages.
A friend of hers, who did not wish to be named, said she went to Kerikeri High School with Bailey in the early 2000s.
His friends thought someone else was involved in his death – or at least knew what had happened.
“We would appreciate any information. Some answers would shed light on a lot of people.”
“Bailey was a really nice person, always ready to help anyone, no matter what she was going through.”
Lately, she had been “free camping” by choice around Kerikeri.
She believed Bailey’s last contact with her parents was May 15. A friend last saw her in Kerikeri on May 16.
A woman walking her dog had found a set of keys left on a tea towel by the creek around May 17.
The keys were fitted to Bailey’s van, which had been parked in an unusually haphazard manner near Cherry Park House.
His body was found a few days later.
His friends searched Waipapa Landing and found shredded clothes – a council contractor mowed the area the day after his body was found – and Bailey’s backpack on rocks further downstream.
A lack of information has fueled speculation about the circumstances of Bailey’s death.
A Waipapa Landing resident, who also did not wish to be named, dismissed outlandish theories he had heard as “small town rumours”.
However, with his family frequenting the popular picnic and swimming spot, he also wanted clarification on what happened.
“We just need to know if we’re safe or if something bad is going on.”
The man said his house overlooked the landing, but it took nearly two weeks after Bailey’s body was found before police spoke to him.
The officer apologized, saying the gang shootings in Kaikohe were taking a long time.
The man had seen Bailey’s van by the river for several days before her body was found.
It was parked at an unusual angle but otherwise there wasn’t much thought to it. It was not uncommon to see people living in their cars at Waipapa Landing, he said.
At that time there were three, including a man who slept in his car during the week because his home was in Hokianga but he had a job picking fruit in Kerikeri.
Calls to Northland Police over Bailey’s death have been directed to the Police Communications Center in Auckland.
A spokesperson would only say that the police were awaiting test results.
This is believed to refer to the toxicology and pathology tests performed as part of the autopsy.
If the police investigation is inconclusive, Bailey’s death will be referred to the coroner for a decision. However, this can take years.
• Call police on 105, quoting case number 220523/0760, if you have any information or notice anything unusual at Waipapa Landing between May 12-22. Police also want to hear from anyone who saw Bailey’s Toyota Estima around the same time. Calls can also be made anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.