Kurt Bayer is a Herald reporter based in Christchurch

Police search freezing bush for missing man

Peter John Crowther
Peter John Crowther

Twenty searchers are scouring an area of thick bush in a freezing South Island alpine range for missing Christchurch man Peter John Crowther.

Police are searching the remote area of Arthur's Pass National Park after his 1996 Mitsubishi Galant was found by a member of the public near the Mount White bridge, close to the Hawdon Shelter, on Sunday.

The 55-year-old has been missing since he was last seen at his Addington workplace about 4pm on Friday, June 14.

Police say it's out of character for Mr Crowther not to be in contact with his family.

Today, his partner Diana Moir was too upset to speak to media.

"It's a private time for grief right now, and I'd prefer to leave it at that," she said from their Christchurch home in the suburb of Strowan.

A helicopter swept nearby rivers yesterday while huts and shelters were checked by a search team of police dogs and handlers, police SAR unit members, and 15 volunteers.

After coming up empty-handed, the search resumed this morning in fine conditions.

Conditions in the area, which is at an elevation of between 500 and 600 metres, have been extremely cold with a high of just 2C yesterday.

Constable Gavin Jeffs of Christchurch CIB says Mr Crowther's vehicle appeared to have been at the site for some time.

Nothing of significance had been located inside the car, he said.

"The vehicle is in a remote location, and was concealed in an area of bush," Mr Jeffs said on Monday.

"Although we have now located the vehicle, we would like to hear from anyone who may have seen the car in this area, or on roads into the area, or who can help us to establish its movements."

Anyone with information about the vehicle's movements is asked to contact Christchurch Police on 03 363 7400.

Mr Crowther is described as a Caucasian, of solid build, about 160cm (5ft 3in) tall, with short grey hair, brown eyes and a distinctively large nose.


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