Skeletal remains found dumped in bush in the foothills of the Tararua Ranges are suspected to be missing Levin man Palmiro Macdonald.

Police have revealed bones were found during a search of the Mangahao Dam area, near Shannon, Manawatu, yesterday, following information from a member of the public.

Today a police source said there was a "good chance" it could be missing gang associate who was last seen in March.

However, this was not confirmed with extensive scientific testing needed to determine the mystery person's identity.

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Specialist search groups are at the scene today with the area cordoned off.

Forensic and post-mortem testing is under way to identify the remains.

Macdonald, also known as "Powser", was picked up from his home in Levin on March 23 by an associate driving a 1994 Mercedes Benz. He has not been seen since.

On the day police officially announced an investigation into his disappearance, a Hokio Beach house that he regularly visited was torched.

Police made a fresh appeal last month on its programme Police Ten 7 for information to help solve what happened to Palmiro to provide answers for his family.


More to come.