Search for missing Opunake man intensifies

MISSING: Aaron Roigard
MISSING: Aaron Roigard

An extensive land, sea and air search has been launched to locate an Opunake man who has been missing since Monday.

Aaron Roigard was last seen near Waiteika Rd at about 1pm after he left a property on foot following a family disagreement.

Detective Senior Sergeant Blair Burnett, who is heading the inquiry, said police were still trying to piece together what might have happened to the 27-year-old and there were still a number of possible scenarios to explain his disappearance.

"It's important early on to get as much ground searched as possible," Burnett said.

He said he had also been in contact with Roigard's family, including his parents, sister and partner.

"They're understandably anxious and distraught because they don't know where he is," he said.

A team of 10 detectives from Stratford, New Plymouth and Hawera stations were involved in the case, along with a 16-strong search team co-ordinated by Senior Sergeant Matt Prendergast.

The teams are operating out of the Opunake police station.

Prendergast said his team had been involved since Tuesday, and a search of Roigard's property, along with his father's address, was undertaken on Wednesday.

This involved an intensive search within a 300m radius of both properties, as well as of the surrounding area, which includes farmland, streams and old disused buildings.

Yesterday, a team also searched several huts close to Mt Taranaki, including Lake Dive Hut and the Waingongoro Hut as Roigard was known to visit the area.

Prendergast said anair force Iroquois helicopter had carried out a search along the coast and over land that had also been covered by crews on the ground.

He said although concern increased as time went on about the father of two's fate, the search team remained upbeat of finding the man.

"We're always going to remain positive that we will find him alive," he said.

Burnett said the information gathered so far will be assessed overnight, and will guide the next steps of the investigation.

Roigard, who is 176cm tall, of medium build with brown hair, was last seen wearing black clothing, including a beanie, a hooded jacket, trousers and work boots.

Anyone with information about him or an older style, green-coloured Holden Commodore seen at time of his disappearance can contact their local police station or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Taranaki Daily News