Search of 'challenging bush' turns up nothing

Stephen Lowe
Stephen Lowe
The family of missing Dunedin man Stephen Lowe are devastated after a search of "isolated and challenging bush" turned up nothing.

Senior Sergeant Cynthia Fairley, of Balclutha, said the the land and water search for Mr Lowe was suspended this morning pending a reassessment of areas of interest.

"Sadly, the search in this isolated and challenging bush has not yet produced the outcome we were hoping for,” she says.

She had been liaising with Stephen’s family this morning.

“Understandably, they are devastated that he has not yet been located despite the extensive search efforts," Snr Sgt Fairley said.

Mr Lowe left work on Portsmouth Dr in Dunedin about 10am on Friday, 15 September, and has not been seen or heard from since.

His black BMW car was found by a member of the public in the Catlins Conservation Park area on Tuesday.

Snr Sgt Fairley said the family was highly appreciative of the search efforts, which included an intensive search of the McLean Falls area, so far from an "extremely committed team".

The search team included LandSAR volunteers, police staff, dog units, water rescue teams and the National Police Dive Squad.

Police were still hopeful of receiving new information and should any come to light police would make further enquiries.”

“It’s possible that tourists may not be tuned into local media and not yet be aware that Police are seeking information.

“We’ve also notified airports, vehicle rental companies, I-sites and various other local organisations.”

Anyone who had seen Mr Lowe or his vehicle was asked to contact Police as soon possible.

Police would also like to hear from the occupants or a small red car that was seen parked at the McLean Falls carpark on the morning of Saturday, September 16.

Mr Lowe's wife Liz Carroll-Lowe posted on social media about the search being called off.

"It is with a great deal of sadness and shock that the formal police search for Steve has been called off.

"After intense searching by LandSar volunteers for the last six days there has been absolutely nothing found to indicate where in the bush he might be," she said.

She called for help with a private search.

"We are to organise a private search in coming weeks so please let me know if you wish to be part of this."

She also asked people to keep sharing his picture and media updates to keep him at the forefront of people's mind.

"That's how we will bring him home.

"He was too good of a man to forget easily."

She was thankful for the support the family had received.

"The family is wrecked, emotionally and physically but we thank you all for your messages and acts of support."


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