As we enter a new decade, we take a look back at some of the biggest stories that hit the headlines in Whanganui over the past 10 years.
A family is still looking for answers nearly 10 years on, despite a man being sentenced for the murder of their loved one.
Brett Hall, 47, was last seen in late May 2011 at his remote house site off Pitangi Track, which leaves the Whanganui River Rd between Parikino and Atene.
Police launched a missing person search in early June 2011, with more than 80 NZ Army and Police staff and Search and Rescue (SAR) personnel scouring his property, partially-built house and caravan complex and the surrounding bush without finding him.
The inquiry quickly changed to a homicide investigation. Members of Hall's family repeatedly pleaded for people to contact police with information but after several years they were still no closer to knowing what had happened to him.
Finally, in June 2014 police arrested David Owen Lyttle, 49, and charged him with Hall's murder. The search for Hall's body continued.
After it was delayed for a year in 2017, Lyttle's trial eventually started in the High Court in Palmerston North in October 2018 but was abandoned after two weeks due to a police slip-up in failing to submit material to Lyttle's legal team.
In September 2019 Lyttle's retrial got under way.
During the trial, it was revealed that Lyttle was targeted three years after Hall's disappearance by a police operation called "Mr Big", in which undercover officers created a mock criminal organisation and promised him money and opportunities if he told them the truth about his friend's disappearance.
Lyttle's defence lawyer claimed the confession was false, coerced as Lyttle saw a way to bring his family out of a dire financial situation by telling the crime boss exactly what he wanted to hear.
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The sting began with Lyttle "winning" a fishing trip off the coast of Wellington, during which he became friendly with undercover officer Nick O'Neal.
During the next two months, Lyttle met with O'Neal more than 20 times to take part in mock criminal behaviour, from casing a gun store for possible burglary, to conducting drug deals in the Hutt Valley.
O'Neal, being questioned by Crown lawyer Michelle Wilkinson-Smith, said he spent about 73 hours with Lyttle in total, in which he mentioned trust more than 70 times, honesty 40 times, and loyalty more than 30 times. Every interaction the two had was recorded.
Three months after they'd met, Lyttle was given a meeting with the head of the mock criminal syndicate, in which he confessed to killing Hall.
O'Neal had urged Lyttle to be honest and upfront prior to the meeting, and Lyttle said he had done that when they met up again afterwards.
He detailed the murder again to O'Neal after his meeting.
Lyttle told undercover police he had shot Hall between the eyes in May 2011, burned any evidence, cut up his body, and then buried it in two places on beaches between Whanganui and Bulls. The murder followed a dispute over money.
On November 14, 2019, Lyttle was found guilty of Hall's murder and on December 19 he was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum non-parole period of 11 years. The sentence included an uplift for not revealing the location of the body.
During the reading of several emotional victim impact statements at the sentencing, Hall's family called for Lyttle to reveal where he'd buried the remains.
"I desperately want to lay him to rest," Hall's mother, Lee Hall, said.
"You know where Brett is, please have the decency to tell us where he is."