Friends of man accused of Raglan campervan slaying back him on social media

Friends of a man charged with the murder of Australian surfer Sean McKinnon in Raglan have posted on social media about the accused's "struggles".

Police continue to search for the alleged murder weapon and have appealed for witnesses to come forward if they saw a hitchhiker near a small town where the body of Mr McKinnon was found in his campervan.

The 33-year-old was shot several times while asleep with his fiancee Bianca Buckley by his side in their campervan near Raglan, a popular surf spot.

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Sean McKinnon’s sister Emmeline spoke to reporters outside the Hamilton District Court today. Source: 1 NEWS

A 23-year-old man was charged with the murder after he allegedly fired shots into the campervan, before driving off in it, with Mr McKinnon dying inside as Ms Buckley fled for her life.

Mr McKinnon's body was later found in the vehicle in the nearby town of Gordonton at 8am on Friday.

A friend of the alleged killer took to social media yesterday, posting a photo of his friend and him standing side by side, commenting about the accused's "struggles".

The post comes just one day after the man faced Hamilton District Court and was remanded in custody to appear again in the High Court on August 27, with his name and identity suppressed.

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Detective Inspector Graham Pitkethley said a man has been charged in relation to the shooting. Source: 1 NEWS

The accused, who is originally from the town of Te Aroha, had previously posted several photos of himself with his middle finger up - the most recent picture with the same gesture posted just under one month ago.

He also posted photos wearing a shirt with the words "Go get F****ed" printed on the back.

Waikato police said yesterday they were still looking for the gun used in the attack and they're working to return Mr McKinnon's body to his family.

They're urging anyone who may have spotted a hitchhiker around Gordonton or at nearby Whitikahu during the day on Friday to contact them.

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His partner fled for her life and survived, police said. Source: 1 NEWS

Mr McKinnon's sister, Emmeline, told reporters outside court "we just don't know even how to begin to put life together without him".

"The worst thing was telling my mother," Ms McKinnon added.

She said her brother's fiancee Ms Buckley had been "amazingly resilient and strong".

"I cannot even begin to understand what she's gone through."

"She's a really strong young woman. We're just really glad she's alive."

Detective Inspector Graham Pitkethley said Ms Buckley remained shocked and traumatised from her ordeal.

"She is thankful that an arrest within a 24-hour period has occurred and we're working with her and her family, and we'll continue to be in touch with her around her welfare," he said.

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Australian tourist Sean McKinnon was shot dead on Friday. Source: Breakfast