More than 20 police and volunteers have searched an isolated area of bush northeast of Kaitaia for the body of a missing gang member.
The search began at 9.30am yesterday and was due to finish by nightfall. They were looking for Kimble Kaipo Moore, a 48-year-old member of the Tribesmen motorcycle gang last seen in the Duncan Rd area two weeks ago. His family have not heard from him since March 17.
Police have also appealed for sightings of fellow Tribesman Rawden "Big Boy" Yates, 35, who is wanted for kidnapping and aggravated robbery.
Senior Sergeant Cliff Metcalfe, the head of Northland police Search and Rescue, said 22 people took part in yesterday's search. They included 10 police officers from the Whangarei-based Search and Rescue group, a dog handler from Auckland with a cadaver dog trained to locate bodies, and 11 trained volunteers from Far North Search and Rescue.
They were split into seven groups and directed from a mobile headquarters at the junction of Duncan, Pekerau and Taumata roads, midway between Kaingaroa ad Fairburn. They searched a 3km stretch of roadside for any sign of Mr Moore as well as 21ha of native bush, pine and gum trees which Mr Metcalfe described as "an area of interest to the inquiry".
As of 5pm yesterday no trace of the missing man had been found. Mr Metcalfe said the search would continue until dusk. It would be up to the inquiry team whether the search continued today.
Police have also appealed for sightings of a distinctive 1997 Holden Commodore between March 17 and 28 in the Kaitaia, Taipa and Fairburn areas. The car is white with a blue bonnet and the registration WR9817.
- Call Kaitaia police on (09) 408 6500 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 with any information.