No sign of foul play in missing Waverley man case

By Simon Waters -
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Kerry Riley ... police say his disappearance remains a mystery.
Kerry Riley ... police say his disappearance remains a mystery.

Police have not given up hope of finding missing Waverley man Kerry Riley alive.

A photograph of Mr Riley and his dog Tui was released yesterday by police following a request by the Chronicle.

Mr Riley's disappearance is being treated as unexplained and the police investigation is ongoing, Detective Sergeant Varnia Allan said.

Mr Riley, 67, was last seen in late November, just weeks before his remote Okahutiria Rd house burned to the ground.

Remains found in the ashes, thought to be his, turned out to be dog bones, after examination by a veterinarian.

Police still wanted to hear from anybody who had either seen or spoken to Mr Riley since mid-November, Ms Allan said.

"As time goes by there is growing concern over his wellbeing. There is no known medical reason which could explain his disappearance. There is no indication at this time that there has been foul play."

Due to the remote location of Mr Riley's address police used Search and Rescue to search the bush area in the vicinity of his house. Nothing of any significance was located, Ms Allan said.

The findings from the fire investigation have not yet been released, and the dog located in the fire is presumed to be one which belonged to Mr Riley, she said. A neighbour earlier told the Chronicle Mr Riley was seldom seen without his dog.

Retired Waverley police constable Brian Rook said he did not encounter Mr Riley in the 16 years he was the local constable. "I knew a few people who lived remotely and kept to themselves but I don't recall ever meeting Mr Riley," Mr Rook said.

Anyone with information about Mr Riley's whereabouts or who could help the investigation should contact Whanganui police immediately on 06 3490600. Alternatively, people can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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