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Police confirmed yesterday the two-week Search and Rescue (SAR) operation to find missing Dunedin tramper David Palmer was focused on the correct area.
Constable Nayland Smith, of Omarama, said the Canyon Creek area where Mr Palmer's body was discovered on Saturday was within the the 200 square mile (518sq km) wider search area mapped by SAR teams but also close to areas pinpointed as possible locations where Mr Palmer may have gone.
"Searchers carried out an extensive search of specific locations within an area of 200 square miles of extremely rugged and steep terrain. The place where Mr Palmer was found was within the wider search area, in close proximity to specific areas that had been searched previously, in a location with extremely steep ravines, rocky boulders, overgrowth and ground cover that made searching extremely difficult and dangerous.
"Given the terrain, it is testament to the tenacity of all involved that Mr Palmer has been found. Police have nothing but praise for SAR volunteers and police staff who were more than 100% committed to bringing Mr Palmer back to his family."
SAR teams will attend a full debrief on Thursday night, but the cause and time of Mr Palmer's death is now a matter for the coroner.