Police believe mystery bottles not drug-related

Bottles of a pungent substance found by a Myross Bush man last month are now not believed to be drug-related but they have not been tested, police say.

Doug McLachlan found six bottles filled with a mystery substance after mowing the roadside lawn outside his property, while a seventh bottle containing the same substance was later found by authorities beside Myross Bush School.

At the time, Mr McLachlan said fire service staff had said the contents of the bottles may have been methamphetamine residue.

However, Detective Don Ward, of Invercargill, said while police had not established what was contained within the bottles, it was "probably unlikely" the contents were drug-related.

After the bottles were found, another man from the same area contacted police to say he had found similar bottles.

At the time, he had not thought anything of it but after reading about the find in The Southland Times he had gone back to see if they were still there. He was unable to find them.

"I'm sort of optimistic [that] whatever they were, maybe somebody was taking some rubbish to the tip and it's come off the back of a trailer or a truck or something," Mr Ward said.

Police had not tested the substance found within the bottles and Mr Ward did not believe Environment Southland, who retrieved the bottles, had done so either.

Environment Southland senior technical officer Graeme McKenzie said the bottles remained stored in a secure facility. Environment Southland would need to speak with police to determine whether the chemicals would be tested, he said.

Mr McLachlan was taken to Southland Hospital for a decontamination shower after the contents of one of the bottles sprayed over him.

alana.dixon@stl.co.nz

The Southland Times