Forensic expert to examine body

AMY MAAS
Last updated 15:41 02/01/2014

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Police have called in forensic experts to help identify the body of a man found on a walking track in the Coromandel yesterday.

The man, believed to be in his mid-30s to 40s, was found by a group of walkers near midday on a track in the Puketui Valley near Tairua.

His body was flown from Tairua to Hamilton's Waikato Hospital last night.

Sergeant Damien O'Kane of the Tairua Police said the body was found near the intersection of Main Range Track and the Collins Drive Loop.

"Despite widespread media coverage of our efforts to try to identify the man we have only had a small number of responses which have not led us to be able to identify him and we would like to repeat yesterday's call for anyone who has a friend or loved one unaccounted for to contact police," said O'Kane.

O'Kane said that while police were still appealing for information, investigators have a number of tools they can use to try to identify a person's body, particularly in forensic examinations.

A fingerprint expert is currently examining the man, and if that is unsuccessful police will call in a forensic dentist.

When the man was found he was wearing a dark blue, grey and light blue t-shirt that had dark and light blue horizontal stripes along its bottom third. He was also wearing dark blue or black shorts, black lace-up gumboots and a red and grey or black EOS branded back pack.

The man was also wearing a wedding ring.

O'Kane said it was too early to speculate how the man died, but that the discovery of the body highlights the need for people to let others know when and where they are going into the outdoors.

Anyone who has a friend or relative unaccounted for is urged to contact O'Kane at the Tairua Police Station on (07) 858 6200.

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- Fairfax Media

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