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Update – Missing Persons Investigation, Marokopa

Please attribute to Acting Detective Inspector Andrew Saunders:

Today Police checkpoints in Marokopa have been scaled-back. This was planned, as part of the current phase of this ongoing investigation.

Residents of Marokopa and the surrounding areas will continue to see a Police presence in the area and we continue to encourage people to approach our staff if they have credible, current information that could lead to the safe return of Ember, Maverick and Jayda Phillips.

The children have been missing since 12 December 2021, when they were taken by their father, Tom Phillips, to a location unknown but thought to be in Western Waikato within Marokopa or the surrounding areas.

After three days of this phase of the operation we’ve had over 70 new reports of information on the subject of the missing people, via phonecall, email and personal approaches offering information.

We’re continuing to assess the information and conduct follow-up enquiries. As a result of our enquiries we have identified a number of credible reports that are being investigated further. We cannot provide details while the investigation is ongoing, but we are committed to getting a result as soon as possible.

While Marokopa continues to be a focus for the ongoing investigation, enquiries are being caried-out in surrounding areas including Honikiwi and Otorohanga and we’re appealing for anyone who has observed suspicious behaviour in these areas in recent months to please contact Police.

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Our message hasn’t changed: we continue to urge anyone with credible, current information that will lead to location and safe return of Ember, Maverick and Jayda to the right thing and tell Police what you know.

Alternatively, you can email the dedicated email address op.curly@police.govt.nz or contact Police on 105 or online at 105.police.govt.nz clicking ‘Update Report’ and referencing file number 211218/5611.

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