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The murder of Kate Alkema
36 year old Kate Alkema set out for a Saturday mid-morning walk. She had a friend arriving later for lunch and wanted to get her normal two hour walk in before she started preparing the meal. Taking her husband’s watch to time herself, she let him know that she would be home around 10.45am. The two-hour mark passed but Kate never returned home.
Kate’s husband immediately began to panic, as his wife was punctual by nature. He raised the alarm three-quarters of an hour after her estimated time of return. A search was immediately begun and soon after Kate Alkema’s brother found his sisters strangled body among the willow’s 400m south of Melling Bridge.

Sighting that day placed Kate in Tennyson St and then aroung 9.20am at the Hutt Valley Croquet Club. Shortly after she was seen running beside the Melling Train Station. This implied that she would've had to cross the Melling Bridge, which is approximately 1km away from the location of the body.

When the police investigated the scene, they discovered Kate’s body had been dragged for a distance. Evidence suggests that a struggle had occurred before her death, not surprising as Kate was a strong athletic woman, who attended a gym regularly. Her body had been found with her clothes in such a manner that the police are assuming that she had been sexually assaulted.

The inquiry into the murder included 100 police, 80 of which recruits from the police college. 10 days later Nika Abraham, a 21-year-old student was arrested. His home in Pharazyn St, Lower Hutt, was just a few hundred metres from Ms Alkema’s strangled and assaulted body.

24 April 2002, Abraham appeared in court where he entered no plea. He was refused name suppression and ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment. Abraham was then remanded in custody.

12 July 2002, Abraham reappeared in Lower Hutt District Court and again was remanded in custody to wait for a depositions hearing. The hearing was set for 29 August 2002.



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36 year old Kate Alkema set out for a Saturday mid-morning walk in Lower Hutt, taking her husband’s watch to time herself. She let him know that she would be home around 10.45am, however the two-hour mark passed and Kate still hadn't returned home.

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