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Dead walker identity remains a mystery, Forensics called in

Police call in forensic experts after dead walker's identity remains a mystery

Waikato Police working to identify the body of a man found on a walking track near Tairua yesterday are conducting forensic examinations to try and identify him after appeals from the public for missing persons failed to yield his identity.

Sergeant Damien O'Kane of the Tairua Police said the body of the man, who appears aged in his mid thirties to forties, was taken from Tairua to Hamilton's Waikato Hospital last night after he was flown out from a track in the Puketui Valley in an area known as the Broken Hills Recreational Area.

"The man was found by a group of walkers about midday near the intersection of Main Range Track and the Collins Drive Loop who raised the alarm.

"Despite widespread media coverage of our efforts to try and identify the man we have only had a small number of responses which have not led us to be able to identify him and we would like to repeat yesterday's call for anyone who has a friend or loved one unaccounted for to contact Police."

Mr O'Kane said while still appealing for information investigators have a number of other investigative tools they can use to try and identify a person's body, particularly in the area of forensic examinations.

"We currently have a finger prints expert examining the man and if this is unsuccessful we can look at using the services of a forensic dentist but we would still like to hear from anyone who has a male friend or relative unaccounted for and they can contact me at the Tairua Police Station on 07 858 6200."

When found the man was described as wearing a dark blue, grey and light blue T-shirt that had dark and light blue horizontal stripes along its bottom third, dark blue or black shorts, black lace up gumboots and a red and grey/ black EOS branded back pack.

The man was also wearing a wedding ring leading Police to believe he is likely to have family who would be concerned for his wellbeing.

While it is too early to speculate on how the man died, Mr O'Kane said yesterday's discovery highlights the need for people to let others know when and where they are going into the outdoors and when they are due out.


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