No sign of missing Taupo man

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UPDATE:

The body of missing Taupo man Alan Pritchard has been found near his property.

Mr Pritchard was located shortly before midday in a forest area north of his Bonshaw Park home by Search and Rescue teams.

"We're really sad that we didn't find Mr Pritchard alive but we are glad we can return him to his family," Senior Constable Barry Shepherd said.

"Police would like to thank the public for their assistance and the volunteers involved in the search for their efforts."

Police will continue to support Mr Pritchard's family at this difficult time.

EARLIER:

LandSAR volunteers and police have carried out three days of searching for a missing 78-year-old Taupo man.

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 on Thursday.

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, 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 Mr 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 visited Bonshaw Park on Thursday morning between 9.15 and 10am.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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