When someone goes missing ...

Nationwide, New Zealand Police receive about 8000 missing person reports each year.

Of those reported missing, most people - about 95 per cent - are found within about two weeks. More than half are found within the first three days.

Each day, a list of missing children in the Canterbury police region is distributed to local police, Children, Youth and Family staff and other relevant officials.

The process: Family, friends or caregivers file a missing person report (you do not have to wait 24 hours to report someone as missing).

Police make inquiries to determine the person's whereabouts. In the case of a habitual runaway, police will call at places where the person has been known to go and speak with known associates.

If the person is not located in the first hours after their disappearance, and there appears to be reason for concern, inquiries continue and the file is reviewed at intervals - after three days, 14 days, 30 days, 90 days and then annually.

All missing person files remain active until the missing person or their body or remains are located.

Information supplied by Timaru Police and police central communications staff.

The Timaru Herald