While he battles the return of his cancer, John Donovan battles a broken heart with a message for his missing son.
"I miss you."
Katikati man Shaun Donovan has not been seen in nearly three weeks. He was first reported missing to police by his flatmate, who said he knew immediately something was not right when Shaun did not return home on August 13.
Quiet, direct, and followed by a gentle sob, the words from Shaun's father's lips speak of his pain.
A happy and peaceful guy is how John describes his only son living in New Zealand. His other son lives in Australia.
"The sort of guy who goes out of his way to help people."
Those who know him would call him an avid movie buff, and those who do not know him might be able to guess by the movie logos tattooed on his arms.
Shaun's caring nature and love of movies combined to help his father through his initial cancer treatment - downloading, streaming, and buying films for his dad to watch while he was sick.
The family had lived around New Zealand working in a range of industries; from farms to motels, to cafes, John says, reminiscing about working alongside his son.
"A really cool dude, a really cool son," he said.
Police scale back search for missing Katikati man
Search and rescue team looking for missing Katikati man
John says it is impossible to pinpoint the disappearance on anyone or thing.
John, who suffers physically from a workplace injury nearly 30 years ago, moved to Taumarunui when his cancer returned two months ago.
He saw CCTV footage of his son walking into the Kaimai Range on Wharawhara Rd by himself - wearing jeans, a hoodie, and basketball sneakers - but he did not come out.
After hearing the search would start in the bush, John made his way over several times, standing in the car park.
"It's been incredibly hard because I can't get up there myself."
Last Tuesday, police said in a statement they would be scaling back the search after an extensive search was complete the weekend prior in the Wharawhara Rd area by Land Search and Rescue volunteers.
"It was expected," John said.
"I didn't think it would hit me as hard as it did, but I had a bit of a breakdown and a cry when they stopped the search."
He said despite understanding the rationale behind scaling back, it was not something he ever wanted to hear.
"There's no real closure."
The efforts of the Land Search and Rescue teams and police was "incredible" and John set up a Givealittle page for expenses and reimbursement for those involved in the search.
Shaun moved to Katikati two years and had been living with flatmate Garith Healy, who considers Shaun a brother.
For the past few weeks, Healy's life has been put on hold with his sleep suffering and the home eerily quiet and lifeless, he told the Bay of Plenty Times.
From the chatter of quirky conversations, movies, Fortnite, Marvel comics, and always in the pantry, the missing person from the home has not gone unnoticed.
"My dogs loved him, my kids loved him, everyone that knew him loved him."
As the seriousness of the situation continues to set in, Healy has been having visions of Shaun walking down the driveway.
"Come home," is Healy's appeal to his mate.
Healy filed a missing person report after Shaun didn't come home after visiting a family friend and had planned to take Healy to an appointment in Tauranga that day.
"It was definitely unusual, usually he'd message me saying if he was going somewhere."
Healy has been into the area to search with his dogs for several hours last week, "and couldn't imagine him walking any further" than he did.
He said Shaun's mind was "a bit clouded" leading up to his disappearance but Healy believes he had just gone into the bush and perhaps gotten lost.
"The bro's out there still."
Healy is disheartened to hear the search has been scaled back.
Shaun has a caravan and Healy says he has been looking forward to travelling around the country.
He already knows what he would say should he see his friend again.
"What were you thinking going into the bush, you muppet?"
A police media spokeswoman said more searches took place at Wharawhara Rd on August 28, however, nothing was found.
Police are in the process of assessing the information gathered so far to determine the next steps.