Search ramps up for missing Southland man

Dale Watene
Dale Watene
Police continue to hold "grave concerns" for missing Southland man Dale Watene, and an intensive search of forestry land is planned for this Saturday.

The 40-year-old was last seen in Otautau on the evening of Thursday, April 16. He is described as being of thin build and 183cm tall.

A number of areas have been searched in Otautau and Tuatapere already, and the search this Saturday will include police and LandSAR volunteers who are to conduct an intensive search of the Longwoods forestry area, in parts accessible by road.

Detective Sergeant Chris Lucy said police were aware that with the country moving to Alert Level 2 there will be members of the public who will be looking to partake in hunting and tramping activities in the Longwood Forest.

"We would prefer people to stay out of this area on Saturday, but would ask that those who do access the forest to please be extra vigilant for anything unusual, and to please notify Police straight away."

Police continue to liaise closely with Mr Watene’s family.

"If anyone locates anything of interest, or has any information in relation to Mr Watene’s disappearance, please contact Invercargill Police on (03) 211 0400."

Alternatively, information can be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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