Police approach family of missing teen after body discovered on Christchurch beach

Police were called to Redcliffs Beach, near Sumner around 8.35am. Photo: George Heard
Police were called to Redcliffs Beach, near Sumner around 8.35am. Photo: George Heard
Police have approached the family of a teen who has been missing for four months after yesterday’s discovery of a body at a Christchurch beach.

The family said they are feeling hopeful after being told the body was wearing “exactly” what the teenager wore when he disappeared in May.

Police were called to Redcliffs Beach, near Sumner, around 8.35am on Wednesday morning after a member of the public found a body on the shore.

The body was understood to have been in the water “for some time”, according to a police spokesperson.

“Work will now be undertaken to identify the person, notify their next of kin and establish the circumstances surrounding their death,” the spokesperson said yesterday.

Detective Inspector Nicola Reeves was quick to confirm it did not appear that it was related to the disappearance of Christchurch real estate agent Yanfei Bao.

However, the Herald has learned that police approached the family of Lindley Ilog, a 19-year-old who went missing at New Brighton beach in May.

Lindley’s brother, Nycos, said police approached his parents around the same time as officers arrived at the beach yesterday morning, informing them of the discovery.

“They explained they’d found the body and wanted to let my parents know first, so they don’t rush to the scene to look to see if it’s my brother,” Nycos told the Herald today.

“They wanted to make sure. There’s a lot of bodies missing so they want to make it easy to trace who it is.”

Lindley Ilog went missing at sea near New Brighton on May. Photo: Supplied
Lindley Ilog went missing at sea near New Brighton on May. Photo: Supplied
Nycos said officers informed his parents that the body had been wearing a long-sleeved shirt, pants and white shoes.

It was “exactly what Lindley was wearing” when he disappeared, Nycos said.

“[My parents] have a feeling it might be my brother.”

Police told the Ilog family it would likely take two weeks for DNA to confirm whether the body was indeed Lindley’s.

“My parents asked if they could come to the morgue and look, but they said they need to do tests for the next couple of weeks,” Nycos said.

Lindley Ilog went missing near New Brighton on May 1.

His family took to social media to report he’d disappeared and were desperate for any help finding him.

Nycos said Christchurch residents were quick to offer help.

Some offered to walk along the shores of New Brighton beach, according to Nycos, and others took to their boats and swept the waters for the teenager.

One person even hired a helicopter in a bid to find him.

“It’s hard, we don’t have any closure,” said Nycos.

“My mum finds it really hard, she’s still hoping my brother is alive or something - but the rest of us, we’re about eighty per cent sure he’s gone.”

Nycos said he hopes to give his brother a “proper goodbye”, should his body be found.

According to his family, Lindley was a quiet but studious individual. His disappearance confused his family, which is left with only memories of him.

“He always did good and had a plan for the future,” said Nycos.

A police spokesperson today told NZME there were “no further updates or information to share at this stage”.

By Nathan Morton