Simon Garrick in 2012
Police fear an Otago man reported missing by his family
in May was the victim of a homicide.
Officers have been investigating the whereabouts of Simon
James Garrick (42) since he failed to appear in the Alexandra
District Court on October 24 last year.
The investigation has intensified since Mr Garrick's family
reported him missing in May this year.
Police say "a number of factors" suggest Mr Garrick may no
longer be alive.
"Given that it is now almost a year since Simon was last seen
and four months since he was reported as missing, we believe
that we are now investigating a homicide," investigation
spokesperson Detective Sergeant Derek Shaw said.
"Naturally, for the sake of Simon's family we would be really
pleased if he is found alive and the investigation team is
keeping an open mind. However as time goes on the likelihood
of a positive outcome is diminishing."
Mr Garrick was a known heavy drug user and involved with the
"Otago criminal fraternity", Det Sgt Shaw said.
Simon Garrick in 2008
He was last seen at the Caversham Four Square Supermarket
in Dunedin at 2pm on Tuesday, October 30 last year.
In the previous week he was arrested in Alexandra over
driving and dishonesty offences but failed to appear in
Police say between October 22-24 Mr Garrick was in Wanaka
before travelling to Dunedin. There are three sightings of
him at the Caversham Four Square Supermarket on October 25,
29 and 30.
There has been no activity on his mobile phone or bank
accounts after October 30.
Mr Garrick's father died suddenly in December but he did not
make any contact with his family or attend the funeral.
Before he became a heavy drug user Mt Garrick was known as a
reliable agricultural worker.
"It is no secret that Simon has been involved within the
Otago criminal fraternity and has been a known heavy drug
user. I believe that the key to solving the mystery of his
disappearance lies with members in this group and I appeal to
anyone who has knowledge of what happened to Simon to come
forward," Det Sgt Shaw said
"Our main focus in this investigation is to find Simon
whatever the circumstances may be.
"It's possible that people who know about what happened to
Simon have got caught up in a situation that's not of their
own making and beyond their control and subsequently shown
poor judgement. If this is the case, we'd like them to now
come forward and contact us."
Mr Garrick is described as being of European descent, of thin
build and 185cm tall. He was last seen wearing a white rugby
jersey with a distinctive blue and yellow stripe detail.
Anyone who has seen him or has information about his
whereabouts should contact Detective Sergeant Rob Hanna
Dunedin Police on 471-4800, Detective Sergeant Derek Shaw of
the Alexandra Police on 448 2500 or provide information
anonymously via CrimeStoppers 0800 555 111