Search resumes for missing Dunedin man

Stephen Lowe
Stephen Lowe
The search in the Catlins area for missing Dunedin man Stephen Lowe, which was suspended yesterday, has resumed this morning.

Police suspended the search in order to assess areas of interest, Senior Constable Murray Hewitson said in a statement this morning.

Searchers would today be revisiting some areas which were searched last week, he said.

Yesterday, Clutha-Taieri area response manager Senior Sergeant Cynthia Fairley, of Balclutha, said suspending the "extremely hard'' search for Mr Lowe had left his family devastated.

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

The family was devastated he hadn't been found yet despite extensive search efforts, she said.

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

Cynthia Fairley
Cynthia Fairley

His black BMW car was found 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 by an ''extremely committed team''.

The search team included LandSAR volunteers, police staff, dog units, water rescue teams and the national police dive squad.

Snr Sgt Fairley said police were hopeful any new information would enable them make further inquiries.

''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.''

Police would also like to hear from the occupants of a small red car parked in the McLean Falls car park 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 ...

''There has been absolutely nothing found to indicate where in the bush he might be.''

She called for help with a private search that was to be organised in the coming weeks.

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

''That's how we will bring him home. He was too good of a man to forget easily.''

She said the family was ''wrecked, emotionally and physically ''.

She thanked everyone for the messages and acts of support.

Catlins Search and Rescue, in an online post, said the search was ``extremely hard on everyone who attended to lend a helping hand''.

It thanked everyone for their support over the past week, which totalled more than 2000 working hours.


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