Divers search for missing taxi driver

Last updated 12:55 20/12/2013
Missing Christchurch taxi driver David John Mackle
CONCERNS HELD: Missing Christchurch taxi driver David John Mackle.
Divers Walter Park
DIVER'S SEARCH: The Police National Dive Squad search for missing man, David John Mackle.

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Divers will search a stream near where missing Christchurch man David John Mackle's empty taxi was found. 

Today is the ninth day the 50-year-old has been missing. 

He was last seen at his Opawa home about 11pm on Wednesday, December 11. 

His former partner, who lives in Mairehau, discovered Mackle's taxi parked on Kellys Rd, beside Walter Park, the following morning and raised the alarm.  

The Wellington-based Police National Dive Squad would today search a drainage creek and pond alongside Water Park, between Kellys Rd and East Ellington Dr.

Police earlier said they had "grave concerns" for Mackle, but there was no indication he was a victim of foul play. 

"An initial search of the creek has already been undertaken, but to complete a safe and thorough search of the pond, which is several feet deep, it is appropriate to use the dive squad," Detective Sergeant Richard Quested said.

Sister 'hoping and praying'

Mackle's Blenheim-based sister, Fiona Mackle, said she was "hoping and praying" for news today.

She had bought her brother a Christmas present weeks ago, and even wrapped it yesterday.

Fiona Mackle said she had wondered why police waited nine days to search the drain - "I thought they may have by now" - but presumed police thought they would find her brother elsewhere first. 

"I'm just hoping, today's search, they will find him," she said. 

"My mind is going crazy. The phone rings and I'm petrified. I want closure."

Mackle, said earlier that her brother had recently told her he felt he was "in a big dark hole".

He had been through a tough year and struggled after a break-up. 

Her brother had been treated at Hillmorton Hospital earlier this year and letters for family members were found at his house, she said. 

However, it was out of character for him to hide.

Fiona Mackle said waiting for news was "terrifying".

"It's like one big nightmare. Not knowing is killing me. I just want him back," she said. 

Police have asked the public to make if they had seen Mackle, or his Gold Band taxi on the night of Wednesday, December 11, or the early hours of Thursday, December 12, on (03) 3637400.

Mackle's taxi is a white 2008 Toyota Camry, registration number ELQ718.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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