A Christchurch man whose body was found in a riverbed was a member of the Rebels Motorcycle Club.

Police officially named Lomax this morning and said they are treating his death as a homicide.

Online tributes suggest father-of-one Brad Lomax, whose body was found on the banks of the Waimakariri River near Harrs Rd at 10pm on Monday, is a gang member.

The day before his body was found, the heavily tattooed Lomax posted on his Facebook page: "Peace out people. The Brad shows [sic] over."

A friend asked what he meant and Lomax replied: " It means ima lay some bodys in the ground an make sure i make it count [sic]."

Detective Inspector Greg Murton yesterday said Lomax's death was clearly a homicide but he would not comment on his injuries or if a weapon was involved.

A post-mortem examination will be held tomorrow.

One friend described him on his Facebook page as a "hearty solid young man" who will be missed, and another said he was a "hard young bugger".

Another said: "This breaks my heart R.I.P my homie you always had my back."

The area where the body was found has been under police guard and a forensic examination would take place over the next few days, Murton said.

The cordon at Harrs Rd is in an isolated area surrounded by farmland and lifestyle blocks, just off South Eyre Rd, Swannanoa.

One resident said the body of Marie Davis, 15, was found in a similar part of the Waimakariri River 11 days after she went missing in April 2008.

The resident said police searched the riverbank and the area around her house then. In that instance she and her husband had heard a car racing up the road late at night.

This time they had been watching the election debate and had not heard anything, she said.

"You just feel very sad for all the people who are touched by such a tragedy. It's just horrid to hear of these tragedies."

She said the area was usually pretty safe although she would not walk along the river on her own because she said criminals were known to grow cannabis there.

Another resident said he went for a walk down the road about 5pm yesterday and didn't notice anything unusual.

Police would like to hear from anybody who was near Harrs Rd and South Eyre Rd yesterday between 8pm and 10.30pm.