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WELLINGTON, November 12. The place where Hawthorne's body was found is on a spur in the bush, about a mile from the railway line. The country is rough, and the spot hard to find. It was evidently chosen with a view to the concealment of the body, which is much decomposed, and has evidently been in the ground some time, but was fully identified. At present no medical examination has been made, and the cause of death cannot be stated, but the police are satisfied it is a case of murder. The man suspected is already in gaol on another charge. Hawthorne's body was crammed into a hole too small for it. It was doubled up to some extent, and gave the onlookers the impression that it had been jumped on to make it fit. The features were unrecognisable. The body was clothed in a shirt, trousers, and socks. After exhumation it was placed in a coffin and taken by rail to the Wellington Morgue. The deceased's hat, which was found in the grave, had a hole in the brim, which it is thought may have been caused by a bullet. Some of the residents of Silverstream express the opinion that Hawthorne was not shot at all, but poisoned. This belief is strengthened by the fact that Hawthorne's mate said he had been vomiting blood for two days just about the time he disappeared.

November 13. Hawthorne was only about twenty-one yeara of age. He was born at Akaroa, where he has a brother now living. His parents are settlers near Feilding. He is spoken of as being very steady, industrious, and exceedingly methodical in his habits. When he disappeared he was working with a man named Philpott on a contract for the supply of 500 railway sleepers to the Government. Of this number 225 had already been supplied. Mr Tunbridge, the new commissioner, was amongst the police who were present when the body was exhumed. The man who was Hawthorne's partner in the sleeper-cutting contract is at present in the Terrace Gaol on a charge of forging a cheque a few months back. ,• It is believed that the police have strong evidence connecting someone with the murder. Certain articles supposed to have belonged to Hawthorne have, it is stated, been recovered from sundry sources, and evidence may be adduced as to how they were disposed of and by whom. Drs Cahill and Tripe made a post mortem. examination of Hawthorne's body this morning, and the inquest is fixed for 2.30 this afternoon, when the medical evidence will be taken, in order to permit the burial of the body immediately. The post mortem on Hawthorne shows that he was shot through the head. A CHARGE OF WILFUL MURDER. Frank Philpott, who was Hawthorne's mate, was charged this afternoon with murder. He is a native of Taranaki, about thirty, and bears several aliases, Stanhope, Smith, and Wood amongst them. He has quite a record at the local Police Court, and is now awaiting trial for forgery. When arrested on this charge he confessed to bigamy as well.

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Bibliographic details

A CASE OF MURDER., Issue 10470, 13 November 1897

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A CASE OF MURDER. Issue 10470, 13 November 1897

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