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Last Updated: Monday, 21 January 2008, 13:03 GMT
Unit joins backpacker murder hunt
Karen Aim
Karen Aim was on a working holiday in New Zealand

A specialist criminal profiling unit has been called in to help investigate the murder of Orkney backpacker Karen Aim in New Zealand.

The 26-year-old died after suffering head injuries in an attack after a night out in the resort of Taupo.

The unit has been asked to look for any possible motive for the attack and identify any other lines of inquiry.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that Ms Aim's funeral may take place sooner than originally expected.

Her father Brian said the family had initially thought it would take a number of weeks before her body would be returned to Orkney.

However, he said it now looked like her body would be returning home earlier than he had thought.

Ms Aim died in hospital after being found lying injured in the street in the North Island town in the early hours of Thursday morning.

'Very moving'

A team of 50 police officers are investigating what they have termed a "ghastly" attack on Ms Aim, who had earlier been enjoying a night out with friends.

About 100 members of the family's local community paid tribute to Ms Aim at a special remembrance service in her local Orkney church.

Mr Aim said that, as far as he was concerned, the "very moving" ceremony in East Mainland Parish, Holm, felt just like a full memorial service.

He was accompanied by his mother, sister and brother-in-law. His wife Peggy, 51, and son Alan, 23, chose not to go.

"I didn't realise it was going to be a complete service about Karen. It was very moving," he said.

"Everybody in Orkney feels that they have a stone in their hearts."

Murdered Karen 'ray of sunshine'
20 Jan 08 |  North East/N Isles
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18 Jan 08 |  North East/N Isles
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18 Jan 08 |  North East/N Isles
UK woman murdered in New Zealand
18 Jan 08 |  North East/N Isles


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