Coroner set to make ruling on mysterious cold case

BLAIR ENSOR
Last updated 05:00 07/03/2014

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Police investigating the mysterious disappearance of Christchurch man Terence Charles Hendry more than two decades ago still have no idea what happened to him.

Detective Sergeant Al Lester said police had essentially reached a dead end with their inquiries and the case had been referred to the coroner to make a ruling.

In July last year, police announced they were taking a fresh look at the 22-year-old cold case after a review of missing people in the Canterbury district. They believed Hendry was dead and had not ruled out foul play.

Renewed publicity about the case yielded new information and police spoke to several people, including some in Kaikoura, but no significant developments emerged.

Lester said: "At this stage, police have exhausted all lines of inquiry. We don't know what's happened to him."

Hendry could have been murdered, committed suicide or fled the country and assumed a new identity. A coroner's inquest was scheduled for April, Lester said.

A polar blast was hammering Christchurch as Hendry strolled out of his home in Woolston on the afternoon of June 20, 1991. Many people had stayed indoors to avoid travelling on snow and ice-covered roads, but the 32-year-old set off with no cash and limited fuel in his car. Hendry told his parents he was going to the post office to withdraw some money. He and his old orange Datsun have never been found.

COLD-CASE FACTS

Terence Hendry left his parents' home at 45 Tabart St, Woolston, about 4.30pm on June 20, 1991. The 32-year-old was driving a dilapidated orange Datsun 120Y, registration HS359. It was hand-painted and had no front passenger seat. Police established he never made it to his destination, the post office about 2km from his parents' home. Hendry suffered from mental illness. He left behind his medication and all of his possessions, including a passport. He was known to holiday on the West Coast and in Kaikoura. 

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