The last known image of missing Tauranga father-of-two Julian Varley has been released as police confirm a sinister twist in his disappearance.

Police have appealed for information about Varley, who hasn't been seen since January 23.

The last confirmed sightings of Varley, 31, were at around 3pm that day in Tauranga.

Missing Tauranga man Julian Varley has not been seen since January 23. Photo / Supplied
Missing Tauranga man Julian Varley has not been seen since January 23. Photo / Supplied

He was captured on CCTV driving his blue and silver 1998 Nissan Pulsar at the Poike roundabout on State Highway 29A..

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CCTV footage showing Varley from the back has also been obtained, and this is the last known image of him. The t-shirt he was wearing is a red tie-dyed one, and the hat is one his family advises he wore regularly.

Varley's car was found several hours later on fire on Oropi Rd near State Highway 36.

"The lack of contact from Julian – particularly in relation to his two young children – has always been of great concern to us."

Police confirmed on Police Ten 7 last night that bullet holes were found in the burned out car.

Varley has not accessed his bank account or used his cell phone since the day he was last seen, and he has had no contact with his family or friends.

Julian Varley was last seen wearing a red tie-dye shirt and hat. This is one of the last images of him before he disappeared. Photo / Supplied
Julian Varley was last seen wearing a red tie-dye shirt and hat. This is one of the last images of him before he disappeared. Photo / Supplied

"The lack of contact from Julian – particularly in relation to his two young children – has always been of great concern to us," Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Turner, Western Bay of Plenty area manager investigations said.

"And the discovery of bullet holes in Julian's burned out car is obviously a significant and sinister development.

"We have a number of detectives working on the investigation into Julian's disappearance and we are absolutely committed to establishing what has happened to him and finding answers for his loved ones."

"We believe the community can help us with that, and we urge anyone who has not yet seen the Police Ten 7 segment to watch it. You can do so via the Police Ten 7 Facebook page or the Bay of Plenty Police Facebook page."

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Julian Varley's car, captured during his last known movements in Greerton, Tauranga. Photo / Supplied
Julian Varley's car, captured during his last known movements in Greerton, Tauranga. Photo / Supplied
Julian Varley's burned out car, found in Oropi after he was last seen. Photo / Supplied
Julian Varley's burned out car, found in Oropi after he was last seen. Photo / Supplied

Anyone who can help is encouraged to call the Police Ten 7 Information Line on 0800 107 4636.