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Body found in West Coast bush

DEIDRE MUSSEN
Last updated 14:09 17/12/2012
Rex Taylor
Supplied
REX TAYLOR: It is believed he was doing volunteer track and hut maintenance when he fell over a bluff.

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Police have recovered a body they believe is a Christchurch man who disappeared while tramping in a remote area on the West Coast eight weeks ago.

Rex Leslie Taylor, 50, was reported missing by his family on November 6, prompting extensive searches, after he failed to return from a solo tramp in the Mikonui River area south of Ross.

Yesterday, a helicopter searching for him spotted a body down a steep bluff in Kaka Creek, in the Mikonui River area.

Formal identification of the body has yet to be completed but police said it matched Taylor's description.

Next of kin have been advised.

Police believed Taylor set out on his tramp on October 15 or 16 and the last known sighting of him was at the Explorer Hut on October 23.

He frequently tramped in the area doing volunteer hut and track maintenance as a member of Permolat, which cares for remote huts.

His final entry in the hut book on October 23 said he planned to head back towards his vehicle in Totara Valley Rd, possibly via the Mikonui Spur Bivouac, and expected to be out by October 25.

Searchers had found various items that they believed belonged to Taylor, which helped to focus the search in the area where the body was found.

Taylor's family had told police it was not uncommon for him to spend weeks at a time in the area and they had been unsure when he had been due home, where he lived alone.

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