Weather a worry in missing man case

CHRIS HYDE
Last updated 17:57 19/05/2014
Stephen Walker
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MISSING: Stephen Walker

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Cold temperatures in Manawatu have police concerned about the health of the missing brother of The Block NZ contestants Pete and Andy Walker.

Police were still working to determine where Stephen Walker, 25, might have gone since he was last seen at his home in Bulls at 8.30pm on Wednesday, a spokeswoman said at 5pm today.

"Today's search efforts included a considerable aerial search by a Iroquois helicopter and around a 50 kilometre zone covered on foot," she said.

"The Apiti area is still the focus area."

The case was still being treated as a missing person investigation, the spokeswoman said. Police had received some calls from the public about Walker, but still wanted to speak to anyone who might have seen him, she said.

A blue Suzuki farm bike Walker was believed to have been riding was found in Makoura Rd near the intersection of Pohangina Rd in Apiti, north of Palmerston North.

The motorbike is a Suzuki TF125.

Police want to talk to anyone who saw a bike matching this description between Bulls and Makoura Road, possibly being ridden by someone without a motorcycle helmet, between 8.30pm on Wednesday and 7.30am on Thursday.

Four teams made up of more than 30 staff from Palmerston North, Whanganui, and Levin, and two search and rescue dogs were involved in the search of rural farmland today with another three teams expected to join them.

"We have concerns for Stephen's wellbeing," the spokeswoman said. "The cold temperatures are a concern and we are still working to ascertain where he may have gone."

Walker is a brother of popular TV3's The Block NZ contestants Pete and Andy Walker.

The pair amassed a huge fan base, won the People's Choice Award at the end of the season and have since appeared in Hirepool television advertisements.

The Walker family would not be making any statement to the media about the search, Sergeant Andy Brooke, officer in charge of the search, said.

Walker is 182 centimetres tall, of medium build with short brown hair and was last seen wearing a green Swanndri, a green hoodie, track pants and gumboots.

Anyone with information can contact the Palmerston North police on 06 351 3600 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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