Search for missing King Country family suspended

Searchers have been combing inland and coastal areas of Marokopa and Kiritehere looking for the...
Searchers have been combing inland and coastal areas of Marokopa and Kiritehere looking for the family for 12 days. Photo: RNZ
The search for the missing King Country family is being suspended after a 12-day operation that has not produced any trace of them.

Thomas Phillips (34) and his three children, Jayda Jin (8) Maverick Callum-Phillips (6) and five-year-old Ember Phillips were last seen by family at Marokopa on September 11.

The alarm was raised after Phillips' vehicle was found on a beach the following day.

Waikato West Area Commander Will Loughrin said today that a team of dedicated searchers, supported by the local community, have been combing the inland and coastal areas of Marokopa and Kiritehere looking for the family for 12 days.

"At this time we have not located any sign of them," he said.

Police have met with their relatives and decided from now on the inquiry will move into a "reactive" phase.

"This means police will be available to react to any new information as it comes to hand and initiate searching as required."

Inspector Loughrin said the investigation into their disappearance is ongoing.

He said the family understood that police remain committed to bringing their loved ones home.

Anyone who find items of interest, such as clothing, along the coastline from near Raglan to as far south as Waikawau Beach, should contact police on 111.

Police thanked everyone who had helped with the search, many on a voluntary basis.

Anyone intending to carry on searching should make safety paramount and stick to sandy beaches, police said.

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