Missing man's family cling to hope
Family of missing Christchurch taxi driver David John Mackle say they are living in a "nightmare" and are praying for news before Christmas.
Fiona Mackle said police had told them to prepare for the worst as the search for her brother entered its sixth day.
Mackle has not been seen, nor accessed his bank accounts, since his empty taxi was found parked on Kellys Rd in Mairehau about 8am on Thursday.
His phone and wallet were found at his Opawa home, where he was last seen about 11pm the previous night.
Fiona Mackle said her brother had struggled to cope after separating with his long-term partner in September. He had also just turned 50.
The former partner, who lives in Mairehau, found Mackle's empty Gold Band taxi on his way to work and raised the alarm.
The partner, who asked not to be named, said Mackle was "a home and work person".
Mackle was "not in a great space" when he disappeared, he said.
"What's perplexing everybody is we don't understand where he could possibly be. I'd be asking everyone who lives in St Albans to Burwood to be checking their properties carefully," he said.
Fiona Mackle, who lives in Blenheim, said her brother told her recently he felt he was "in a big dark hole".
He had been treated at Hillmorton Hospital on two occasions this year, she said. However, it was out of character for him to hide.
Letters from Mackle, for her and their mother, were found at his house, she said.
Friends and family had been searching the red zone, close to where Mackle lived before the quakes.
She said waiting for news was "terrifying".
"It's like one big nightmare. Not knowing is killing me.
"We've been told to prepare for the worst, which is hard to do.
"I just want him back."
Detective Senior Sergeant Brian Archer said earlier there was, at this stage, nothing to indicate Mackle was the victim of foul play.