Alexandra man still missing
Police are issuing further pleas to the Otago criminal fraternity for information about a Central Otago man who disappeared on October 30, last year.
Police last week announced a homicide investigation into the disappearance of 42 year-old Simon Garrick and through media issued a nationwide plea for information.
Detective sergeant Derek Shaw, of Alexandra, said two or three members of the public has come forward with information as a result.
Police were appreciative to those who had come forward and "filled in pieces of the jigsaw," Mr Shaw said.
However, vital information pointing to what happened to Mr Garrick, probably known within the Otago criminal community, was still needed, he said.
Mr Garrick had always been a stable worker but had ties to Otago's criminal underground because he was a burglar and heavy drug user, Mr Shaw said last week.
"But we have yet to hear from those close top him in the group we described, particularly those from the Dunedin criminal community.
We'd still like to hear from someone Simon mixed or associated with immediately before or after his disappearance on October 30."
Mr Shaw repeated a possible scenario outlined last week: it was possible some individuals knew about what happened to Mr Garrick and had got caught up in a situation beyond their control, not of their own making, and they may have subsequently shown poor judgement.
"If this is the case we'd like them to now come forward and contact us," he said.
"Over time allegiances change. I am sure the knowledge will enable Simon to be returned to his family is held by someone in our community.
"I believe the key to solving the mystery of his disappearance lies with members in this group.
"I appeal to anyone who has knowledge of what happened to Simon to come forward."
Mr Shaw said Mr Garrick had spent most of his life in Otago and Southland area.
Anyone with information about his whereabouts should contact Mr Shaw at the Alexandra police station on 03 448 2500, Detective Sergeant Rob Hanna, of Dunedin, on 03 471 4800, or provide information anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
The last confirmed sighting of Mr Garrick was in Caversham Four Square on South Rd, Dunedin, on October 30.
A week before he failed to appear in the Alexandra District Court on driving and dishonesty offences resulting in police issuing a warrant for his arrest.
Several factors contributed to the police belief Mr Garrick's disappearance was not a case of evasion. He had uncharacteristically been absent from work, and not been in touch with family and associates, even when his father, whom he was close to, had subsequently died.
There had been no activity on his mobile phone or bank accounts after October 30 last year and he had not used his two vehicles.
Mr Garrick is described as a being of European descent, of thin build and 185cm tall. He was last seen wearing a white rugby jersey with a distinctive blue and yellow stripe detail.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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