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Searchers buoyed by sighting of man missing in Hamilton

Searchers and family buoyed by sighting of man missing in Hamilton

20 March 2014 - Waikato Police, friends and family members working to locate an elderly dementia sufferer missing in Hamilton since Sunday have been buoyed by confirmation the man was seen walking near Waikato Hospital two days ago.

Detective Senior Sergeant Ross Patterson of the Hamilton CIB said investigators are crediting the media for highlighting the issue of 70-year-old Kawhia man, Trevor SMITH, and how he has been missing for five days.

"Yesterday a member of the public who had seen news coverage of Mr SMITH'S plight provided a sighting matching his description between 12-12.30pm near traffic lights on the corner of Lorne St and SH3/ Ohaupo Rd on Tuesday.

"The information obtained in this sighting report is assessed as being accurate and has reinforced to us that the search operations conducted by the Police and Search and Rescue volunteers, and those of friends and family have been centred in the right areas."

Mr Patterson said given the proximity to a major intersection of this latest sighting, Police are very keen to speak to anyone else who may have seen Mr SMITH, spoken to him or stopped and given him a ride.

"When last seen, Mr SMITH was described as being clean shaven with a number one haircut and of average to solid build. He was wearing a distinctive lime green Vodafone Warriors rugby league jersey, dark blue track-pants, plain white sandshoes and a grey cap.

"As time goes on it is less likely he will be clean shaven and he may or may not still be wearing his cap. Searchers believe the key lies in Mr SMITH'S distinctive rugby league jersey and they are hoping anyone who notices someone matching his age may recognize him and contact us by ringing 111."

Mr Patterson said given Mr SMITH suffered from mild dementia and diabetes it is highly likely anyone encountering him may find him in a disorientated state.

"Consulting medical experts we have been instructed his dependency on Insulin is not life threatening but given a combination of factors including his being out in the elements it is one more factor to why both Police and his family are very concerned for his safety.

"Today our search teams have been concentrating on searching more specific areas while a team of detectives continue to follow up on potential sightings reported by the public. While this is going on, a team of 60 family members, friends and Maori Wardens have been continuing leaflet drops and searches."

Mr Patterson said the support of the family to the search teams had been fantastic and he urged the public to support them as they seek to bring Mr SMITH home.

"Once again, if you see someone matching his description or think you may have seen him- contact Police on 111."

ENDS

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