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Taupo Police conclude third day of searching for 78-year-old

Taupo Police conclude third day of searching for 78-year-old

LandSAR volunteers and Police have carried out three days of searching for a 78-year-old Taupo man, missing since Thursday morning.

Alan Pritchard lives at Bonshaw Park, a rural subdivision of lifestyle blocks about 6km east of Taupo, off the Napier-Taupo Highway.

He has not been seen since putting the rubbish bin out at his gate at 9.15am.

His family spent the morning unsuccessfully searching for him, then called police just after 1pm.

Police initiated a search using LandSAR volunteers from Taupo and Turangi, the Taupo Civil Defence Response Team, Taupo Rural Fire and Police SAR dogs from Taupo and Rotorua.

The search continued through Friday and today [Saturday], bolstered by volunteers from LandSAR Waihi, Hamilton, Rotorua, Taihape, Ruapehu and Hawkes Bay.

The Taupo-based Greenlea Rescue helicopter was used on Friday morning to search forestry and farmland adjacent to Bonshaw Park.

"We thank the local residents, and friends and family of Mr Pritchard who have been looking for him, and encourage others in the area to keep their eyes out," said Senior Constable Barry Shepherd of Taupo Police.

Mr Pritchard was last seen wearing a blue hat with ear flaps, grey trousers, a grey jacket over a black jersey, and black boots.

He suffers from Alzheimers and wears hearing aids and glasses.

Despite the many hours searching, there is still no sign of him.

"Searchers have experienced challenging weather conditions, terrain and vegetation in the area around Bonshaw Park, and our concern for Mr Pritchard's safety continues to grow," said Senior Constable Shepherd.

Police are keen to hear from anyone who might have information which could help find Mr Pritchard, especially those who live at, work around, or who have visited Bonshaw Park on Thursday morning between 9.15 and 10am.


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