The family of a missing 70-year-old New Plymouth man were supporting each other last night as police continued the search.
Nigel James Duncan has not been seen since leaving his Carrington St house about 4.45pm on Tuesday. He walked off without his wallet, identification or medication for conditions including angina and asthma.
Police launched a search about 9pm after his wife, Denise, reported him missing.
Searchers scoured parks and reserves until 4am yesterday and again resumed the hunt for Mr Duncan yesterday afternoon.
Mr Duncan's family and police were aware the chances of finding him alive grew slimmer as time went on.
His younger brother, Roger, drove down from Auckland yesterday. "It's pretty awful," he said.
"At the present time, all we can do is keep looking and keep hoping. One always has to have a certain amount of positivity, but as time goes by it gets increasingly difficult."
He said Mr Duncan's family - his wife, Denise, a sister from New Plymouth and his two daughters, one who lives in New Plymouth and another who is expected to arrive from Dunedin today - were all helping each other through the difficult time. "We just miss him."
He said the news of his brother's disappearance came out of the blue. "We just wonder what on earth has happened to him."
The police search and rescue controller, Senior Sergeant Matt Prendergast, said six two-man teams continued to look for Mr Duncan last night.
"Our task tonight is to complete searching Pukekura Park, Brooklands Park and Vogeltown Park. That will take us pretty much up to dark," Mr Prendergast said.
The search management team would then review the situation and decide its next move, he said.
"We will just keep reviewing things all the way through.
"These sort of things happen from time to time.
"We have people go missing and they are very difficult to find," he said.
"We always remain confident that we will locate Nigel, but as time goes on we have graver concerns for his safety."
He said there was nothing to indicate Mr Duncan had met with foul play at this stage.
He is about 1.80 metres (5ft 11in) tall and of slight build.
Mr Duncan had on a grey fleece jacket and possibly light fleece trousers and a beanie. He was also wearing glasses.
Anyone with information can contact New Plymouth police on 759 5500.
- Taranaki Daily News