Missing Fairlie man Ross Butters has been found alive.

The Herald was notified by Butters' family on Wednesday evening that the 35-year-old had been found, after having been missing for nine days.

Ross Butters was last seen in Fairlie on New Years Eve. He had not been seen or heard from since.

Brother Grant Butters told the Herald that Ross was found alive and well near the Opihi River, 12km from Fairlie.

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"He was living out of his vehicle. He was found by local policeman Russel Halkett at 6.10pm," he said.

"The family is very relieved and his mother arrived in Fairlie just prior to his safe return.

"It is a great result and we would like to say thank you to everybody, everywhere!"

Grant Butters spoke with the Herald earlier today and said the family and police had serious concerns for Ross' wellbeing.

"The family is very distressed obviously, and we struggle with having no answers and no clues," he said then.

"The community and the police have been fantastic and all our friends and relatives have been amazing, the amount of offers of help have been absolutely overwhelming.

Ross Butters, pictured, was known to go walkabout for a day or two, but relatives said he had always been in touch with somebody previously. Photo / Supplied
Ross Butters, pictured, was known to go walkabout for a day or two, but relatives said he had always been in touch with somebody previously. Photo / Supplied

"Like everybody, we just hope for a positive outcome."

Butters said his brother is suffering from depression and he believes he has gone "off the grid".

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"He is obviously going through a bit of a rough patch and fallen into a big black hole. He probably can't see a way out and might just be taking some time out," he said.

"This sprung up on us and we weren't really expecting it. He has never received any treatment for mental health issues, but he certainly needs some help now."

Butters said his brother is known to go walkabout for a day or two, but he has always been in touch with somebody previously.

"For him to disappear for this period of time, with absolutely no contact with anybody, is very unusual. He has always spoken to mum or been in contact with mates," he said.

"We have contacted every single person we can think of and no one has seen or heard from him."

Butters said he and his brother grew up in the Fairlie area and he had been searching any known areas.

"I have been driving around searching places that I can guess that he might be parked up at, but obviously we have had no joy," he said.

"That is why the general public is going to be the best tool. I think someone will just stumble upon him or the vehicle."

Other family joined the search in Fairlie today, Butters said, including his mother who lives in Perth.