Trevor's family are preparing for the worst
Hope remains that missing Kawhia man Trevor Smith will be returned to his whanau safe and well, but as each day passes it gets harder to keep faith alive.
Nearly three weeks ago at 5pm on Sunday, March 16, the 70-year-old went missing from outside Waikato Hospital and his brother Steve Smith said it had weighed heavily on the whanau.
"You hope for the best but you expect the worst," he said.
"With the time going on and with no sightings and with his medical condition, dementia, it's a no brainer really."
Trevor Smith, who suffers from dementia and has Type-2 diabetes, was at the hospital to visit members of his whanau and was last seen on CCTV walking away from the entrance of the hospital on Pembroke St.
His wife Mary Smith was only metres away, at the bottom of the ramp with her nieces and when she turned back to him, he'd gone.
He wore a lime-green Vodafone Warriors jersey, blue track pants, white shoes and a grey hat.
Immediately, friends and whanau came from Kawhia and around Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Auckland to help with the search.
The whanau had more than 50 people on the ground, who walked the streets, knocked on doors and posted information flyers on shop fronts and businesses.
The last confirmed sighting was on Peacockes Rd near Fitzroy and with the city search area exhausted, whanau made a concerted push into the rural zone.
"We're starting to branch out into rural areas, going out ino Ohaupo and looking further afield into gullies and bushes."
Many of the searchers had to return to work but a "hard core" of 20 remained and their numbers were expected to swell again at the weekend.
It's tough for Steve Smith but the whanau want to keep going and going until they get their man home.
"All we want to do is find him and get him home, really, just get him home.
"Regardless, just to bring him back to the whanau so they can start grieving or whatever - start the process."
Anyone who has seen someone resembling Trevor Smith should call the police.
- Waikato Times