Police investigating the mystery disappearance of Opunake man Aaron Roigard say they are now treating the case as a homicide.
While suicide has not been ruled out, Detective Sergeant Chris Allemann said it was unlikely given theories predicted suicide usually took place within a 300m radius of home.
That area had been searched at both Roigard's home and his parents' house, Allemann said.
Roigard was last seen near Waiteika Rd, Opunake, about 1pm on Monday June 2 after he left a property on foot following a family disagreement.
Allemann told the Taranaki Daily News yesterday police were treating the case as a homicide because they had no idea what happened.
''That's not to say it is one. It's just better to cross T's and dot I's while the case is still fresh.''
Allemann said there were no suspects but police had spoken with a number of people close to Roigard.
''That's just because they were the last to see him, it's for no reason other than that.''
''They have all been helpful.''
The case was a ''real mystery,'' but police were pursuing every possible idea they could, he said.
''We also have to be prepared for the possibility of never finding him,'' Allemann said.
Roigard's parents' home and three vehicles were examined last Thursday and Friday.
The family were moved into a motel for two days while the scene examination took place.
Effluent ponds on the farm were drained during the search.
''We moved them out because the chemical we use is very toxic,'' Allemann said.
Forensic testing found nothing of significance and specialists were 99 per cent sure Roigard was not on the farm, Allemann said.
Since Roigard went missing more than two-weeks ago a team of 10 detectives from Stratford, New Plymouth and Hawera stations have been involved in the case along with a 16-strong search team.
Extensive land, sea and air searches have been conducted, with a specialist team from Wellington and an Air Force helicopter used.
While searches have been scaled back, Allemann said a team of eight detectives would continue the investigation.
''We keep going back to people who have seen him and following up sightings of the Commodore of people walking on rural roads. We really need the locals' help.
There was also the possibility of bringing in cadaver dog to help in the search, he said.
''But where do you begin.''
Police were still keen to hear from anyone who had information about Roigard's whereabouts or a dark green/blue Holden Commodore that was seen in the vicinity of Waiteika Rd at the time of his disappearance.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Chris Allemann on 06 213 9536 or contact 0800 555 111.
- Taranaki Daily News