Wednesday, 12 April 2017 - 1:20pm
Please attribute to Detective Sergeant Ross Clapp.
Police can confirm that the body found on Takapuna Beach on Tuesday 11 April , 2017 was that of missing man 26-year-old Stephen Kapeli.
Stephen was reported missing from Takapuna on Wednesday 5 April.
Stephen’s family have asked for privacy while they grieve their loss and have asked not to be contacted at this time, however they wish to release the following statement to media.
“We are heartbroken and devastated by the loss of Stephen, he was such a loving, warm and gentle soul and he meant the world to us.
“Life has been full of many challenges for Stephen after being diagnosed with Bipolar Affective Disorder and we are in admiration of how he overcame many of the situations he was faced with. He touched the hearts of all who knew him.
“Stephen was an intelligent, warm, funny and empathetic soul with a gentle and caring nature. He had four passions – music, swimming, sport and gaming. He loved to play indoor netball and soccer and felt great enjoyment from spending time with his friends and family and being part of a team. But his true love was music and he found great comfort in music and being in, and near the water.
“We have so many wonderful and special memories of Stephen and he will leave an irreplaceable hole in our hearts.
“We would like to thank the police for their support and advice to our family over this incredibly difficult time. We’d also like to thank He Puna Waiora for the support they offered Stephen.
“There are no words to express how much we will miss our boy - Stephen will remain in our hearts forever.” – Stephen Kapeli’s Family.
Police extend their sincere sympathies to Mr Kapeli’s family. The matter has now been referred to the coroner.
Monique Caddy/NZ Police