The mother of the teenage boy who disappeared five years ago remains convinced he is alive.
Fiona Lu has never given up on her son Michael Zhao-Beckenridge.
"I firmly believe my son Mike is alive. I miss him deeply and I am hopeful he will return. I love him," Lu said.
Today marks the fifth anniversary since John Beckenridge, who would now be 69, picked up his stepson from an Invercargill school - breaking a court order - then vanished.
Mike would now be 16.
Five days after the pair's disappearance, a farmer spotted Mike and Beckenridge sleeping in their car. A day earlier there was a confirmed sighting of the pair at a service station in Tokanui, 55km east of Invercargill.
Beckenridge's 4WD car was later found in the surf off the Southland coast, but their bodies were never found. Speculation has been rife that the pair escaped and are hiding overseas. Last year, police confirmed they had received potential sightings of the pair.
"There has been a number of reports of persons, of an elderly Caucasian and a young Asian teenage boy in New Zealand, the Gili islands [in Indonesia] and other countries," said Invercargill Detective Sergeant Dave Kennelly. The police file was handed to the Coroner's office a year ago.
A Coronial services spokesperson said the case was still active but no details about an inquest were available. There is no detail yet to provide on whether an inquest has been scheduled or whether the coroner will be doing it as a hearing on papers."
Part of the Beckenridge police investigation had involved monitoring international gaming sites for any clues to the teenager's whereabouts.
Mike was a keen gamer.
A source close to the investigation said there was " no traction from that community", but alerts were still in place for the pair.
Beckenridge, a helicopter pilot, met Mike's mother while they were working Afghanistan in 2006. Lu, who is from China, had moved to the war-torn country to work as a waitress, while her parents looked after Mike.
The couple moved to Queenstown and their relationship broke down in 2014 shortly after Lu moved to Invercargill to begin a hairdressing course.
Her partner, Peter Russell, said at the time he believed Beckenridge had "poisoned her stepson against his mum" and the pair plotted their elaborate disappearance, including where he would crash his car off Curio bay in the Catlins.
A Herald on Sunday investigation previously revealed a woman claimed she saw the pair on Gili Air island, Bali, on June 30, 2015 - more than three months after they disappeared.
Gili Air Island is a small and popular destination for tourists who like scuba diving.
She said the pair were in a "happy conversation". The witness said the man appeared to be 60-63 years of age and wearing a brimmed, light brown suede hat.
The family's desperate search for answers had led them to employ private investigator Mark Templeman, who arranged a meeting with the witness, Lu and Russell in December 2016.
Lu recognised Beckenridge's distinctive hat and the witness also noted a physical characteristic of Beckenridge only Lu would have recognised.
Russell has spent more than $150,000 on the private search.
Templeman says every anniversary is difficult for the family.
Over the years he has forged a friendship with the couple and is working pro bono because he believes the case is "interesting and solvable".
"I am actively reviewing case notes. My assessment of the sighting from the witness is very credible. This is a solvable case," he said.
Templeman believed the pair had fled to Asia by sea - and didn't think Swedish-born Beckenridge was the sort of person who would take his own life. "He loved Michael too much to cause him harm or death."
Beckenridge had four aliases - John Locke, John Robert Lundh, Knut Goran Roland Lundh and John Bradford.
Police told Templeman divers who found Beckenridge's car in the sea said both front seatbelts were engaged and the seats were pushed back because the roof was compressed.
Heartbreaking texts and videos of the boy were unearthed by Beckenridge's neighbour and Mike's babysitter, Barbara Smith.
Beckenridge's final text - sent on the day the car went off the cliff stated the pair were being "chased by the Gestapo. Fiona f****ed up. No going back. My estate will pay back you[r]money. Do not contact anyone please. Regards, JB and MB."
The Smiths often think of Mike when they look at their own grandson John who is the same as Mike.
"Every time I see a Chinese boy I think of Mike with his floppy hair and wonder if his eyes were open or not. He would be a young man now and I would be looking up at him," she said.
"I don't think I will hear from John again. If they are alive New Zealand is the last place they will come near."
Smith understands Lu's pain and anguish and would like to show her the last videos and messages from Mike.
"Fiona has never contacted me but I would like to see how she is doing. It must be terrible for her not knowing whether her son is alive or dead. I feel sorry for her. To never see your son again is devastating."
Cold case timeline
Mike Zhao-Beckenridge picked up by his stepfather John Beckenridge at an Invercargill school, breaking a court order.
Farmer sees the pair sleeping in a vehicle and notifies police. Police seek help to find the pair, thought to be travelling in a dark blue Volkswagen Touareg.
Final texts sent by Beckenridge to Mike's mother Fiona Lu, lawyers and friends.
Police find car in Blue Cod Bay, southeast of Invercargill. Six days later confirm it belongs to Beckenridge.
Detective says "all the evidence" points to the pair being inside the car when it plunged off the cliff.
Divers and helicopter recover car. Ten days later, police say forensic examinations find "no signs of human remains" in car.
Possible sighting of Beckenridge and Mike in Indonesia.
Police still treating the disappearance as a missing person's case.
John Beckenridge's Queenstown home sells for $860,000. The funds are expected to be held in a trust until he is declared dead.
International child abduction expert Col Chapman says after considering evidence, he believes the pair have left New Zealand.
Herald on Sunday obtains witness statement of a person who claims to have sighted a pair who looked like Beckenridge and Mike in Indonesia. Police say their inquiries are "ongoing and this remains an active investigation".