Human remains found in a car recovered from the bottom of Nelson Harbour last week have today been confirmed by forensic pathology experts as those of missing teenager Leo Lipp-Neighbours.

Commercial divers found the orange-yellow 1987 Toyota Corolla station wagon, at the bottom of Port Nelson, by chance last Monday.

It was recovered near Wakefield Quay and human remains were found inside.

Today, Nelson Bays area commander Inspector Mat Arnold-Kelly confirmed that a forensic pathology team in Christchurch has now been able to positively identify the remains as those of Lipp-Neighbours.


"Police acknowledges that this confirmation brings some closure for the family and extends their sympathies to Mr Lipp-Neighbours' friends and family," Arnold-Kelly said.

"Nelson Police are continuing an investigation into how the vehicle came to be in the harbour and will be reviewing the entire investigation file in preparation for the Coronial process."

The last person to see University of Canterbury engineering student Lipp-Neighbours - on January 24, 2010 driving away from his valley suburb flat at around 4am - was his best mate Ben Clark.

Although he still has plenty of unanswered questions, he spoke of his relief at the discovery at the weekend.

"It's good that he is finally home," Clark told the Herald.