Sunday, August 11, 2013

Manhunt for killer continues after abduction in Auckland - TVNZ

updated 18:38

Published: 3:32PM Sunday August 11, 2013 Source: ONE News

Police are on the hunt for a killer who has taken a two-year-old boy from an Auckland suburb of Panmure.

Gabriel Donnelly was last seen leaving an address in Coates Crescent at about 12.45pm today.

He was seen with Phillip Layton Edwards, a 33-year-old Maori man known to police.

Police are treating the incident as an abduction. They told ONE News Edwards was known to the family but not related.

Police say Edwards was in an agitated state and they have grave concerns for the little boy. They say Edwards has made threats to the childs safety via texts to the boys mother.

Edwards was wearing a navy blue jersey, black jeans, white Nike shoes and carrying a grey hoodie when he allegedly kidnapped Gabriel.

Inspector Peter Raynes said there is a significant amount of police resources on the case, including a helicopter.

ONE News reporter Lisa Owen is at the scene and said police are describing it as a delicate situation.

A neighbour said he heard screams from an address nearby.

"From the scream, she (the mother) just got off the ground and started running up the road there, then yeah the baby he went back inside and the baby came out and then he came outside and picked up the baby and ran off."

He said it's not the first time Edwards had been at the address.

"He looked like a good fella, didn't say much though," the man told ONE News.

Gabriel is Maori, has shoulder length dark wavy coloured hair and was dressed in dark coloured pyjamas. They say if anyone sees Gabriel or a child matching his description they should contact police on 111.

Edwards killed celebrity interior designer David McNee at his central Auckland home in July 2003.

He was found guilty of manslaughter in August 2004 and sent to jail for nine years, with a minimum period of four-and-a-half years.

He was released on parole in February 2012 but returned to prison in September 2012 over an assault charge.

Edwards was living rough on the streets when he was picked up by McNee in a sex-for-money agreement that ended with the designer lying dead after a ferocious beating.

Edwards admitted hitting the designer but said the beating happened only after McNee began touching him - breaking an agreed rule that there would be no physical contact in a sex act for which Edwards was to be paid $120.

Edwards became a killer just 11 days after coming out of jail and had already amassed 56 convictions.

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