A FIJI born man was found burnt to death in South Auckland, New Zealand late last week.
The New Zealand Herald reported yesterday that the deceased was Shalvin Prasad, 21.
According to the news organisation, "Shalvin Prasad's body was identified by police after being found in a scrub fire near McRobbie Rd in Kingseat."
"New Zealand police believe that Mr Prasad was killed by the fire and an accelerant was used," the New Zealand Herald reported.
Yesterday, the victim's older brother, Pravin Prasad, spoke on behalf of the Prasad family, pleading with the public to come forward if they knew anything about the incident.
"Anyone who has seen his RAV 4 please come forward," said Mr Prasad.
"Any of his friends who saw or spoke to Shalvin in the 48-hours before he went missing, please call police, the more information the better.
"He is the youngest child. Family and friends are the centre of his world. He loved to play soccer and enjoyed his job.
"He is probably the most innocent and naive 21-year-old you could meet," the victim's brother reportedly told the news organisation.
A statement released by the Counties Manukau Police on Saturday confirmed that the case was now being treated as a homicide.
"Police do not believe this was a random event and the reasons for Shalvin being targeted are an area of focus for the investigation team," the statement said.
"His disappearance was out of character and there are no known reasons why Shalvin would go missing or take his own life," it said.
Detective Inspector Dave Lynch of Counties Manukau Police revealed that Shalvin was at a soccer practice on Wednesday evening, then returned home and left his Auckland house again at around 8.30 pm.
When the 21-year-old had not returned by 2am, the police were notified. "A member of the public found his body in the scrub fire about 6.30am on Thursday. His 1994 Toyota RAV4 registration number ZG16744 has not yet been found," the police statement said.
The statement said police established that two vehicles left McRobbie Rd at high speed on Thursday morning about 6.30am just prior to the arrival of the first police vehicle.
While the Prasad family said yesterday would have marked Shalvin Prasad's birthday, police investigations into his death are continuing.