A man found dead in an Auckland park appeared to have slipped while walking up a steep embankment, landing chin first on the ground.
However Rhys Davies, a professional artist known as Rhysasaurous Rex, says he now suspects Raymond Luo was likely already dead when he came across his body in Albert Park last week and performed a marathon CPR effort to try and save him.
Davies, a Queens Scout medal recipient when he was younger, says he was walking his dog when he found Luo face down, and his cellphone facing up.
“I just saw him lying there … I could see he wasn’t breathing so I started the ABC [airways, breathing, circulation] and he had none of those things.
“I guess at that stage I realised he possibly had passed, he didn’t seem to be responsive.”
He began CPR and then waved down a man, who was running in the park, for help.
He then noticed a police car go past and chased after it, and let the runner take over compressions.
Davies carried on with CPR as the runner took off to a nearby hotel to grab a defibrillator, while St John staff arrived about 30 to 40 minutes later.
An avid pig hunter, Davies said it appeared as though Luo was likely using his phone’s Google Maps to take a short-cut through the park and head to the High Court for jury service.
As for what happened, he said it appeared to be a tragic accident where Luo has slipped while walking up the steep bank and landing forcefully on his chin, as Davies noticed his mouth was full of dirt when he began doing CPR.
“He was going up a very steep hill … I could see where he’d put his foot down and his left hand was curled up behind his back and he’d dropped his cellphone face up which he’d obviously had on the left side of his body and his chin had hit the ground and slid about 3 and half inches down the hill.
“The way he fell, his right leg had slipped suggesting he was likely on his phone trying to find the High Court. For a reason that makes no sense he chose not to go up by two concrete paths, and instead up a grassy hill.”
There were no rocks where Luo was found, and Davies said his chin had felt the full force of his fall, likely causing some sort of fatal head injury.
He said Luo’s death had struck him particularly hard and ended up meeting his father and widow and shown them the scene.
He also attended Luo’s funeral on the North Shore on Monday.
It was his birthday yesterday.
Now, he wanted to try to help the family as much as he could as Luo’s wife, Flora, was now left to bring up their 2-year-old and 1-month-old by herself.
Dr Jacky Lam helped create a Givealittle page to help support the family.
The fundraiser was currently sitting at $37,895.
Lam earlier told the Herald the couple first met in Tianjin, China. They got married about three years ago before moving to New Zealand.
Flora holds a partnership visa which is tied to Luo, and was worried that his death could mean she would not get permanent residence.
Both their children were NZ-born, but Lam said they could not access any support from Work and Income NZ because of their mother’s visa status.
“They are now looking at getting ministerial help, and also possibly to fast track Flora’s application so she can have certainty that she can stay and look after her children.”
Fortunately, Luo had mortgage insurance, however, funds raised from the Givealittle would still help pay for costs as he was the main breadwinner for their family.
He had a business buying and supplying mosquito screens for homes.
Davies said Flora “was a mess”.
“She absolutely loved Raymond, they were high school sweethearts. They were planning for his birthday yesterday and the day before that it was his funeral.
The police are investigating Luo’s death on behalf of the coroner. It was not deemed suspicious.
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