No sign of missing Hamilton man
There's still no sign of missing man Rick Hayward and his wife Kate is hoping there will be closure today.
Mr Hayward's daughter has arrived from Wellington to be beside her brother and mother.
The family went to the top of Old Mountain Rd this morning, where Mr Hayward's car was found, and walked around trying to figure out where he might have gone.
''The area has been extensively searched,'' Mrs Hayward said this afternoon.
''There has not been any sightings of him, today or yesterday. They are fairly convinced he is still there and the search is continuing.''
She said the police eagle helicopter may rejoin the search.
''There's just no news - where could he be?
''I'm hoping that there will be closure today''
FAMILY KEEP VIGIL
The family of Rick Hayward kept vigil late into the night after a full day of searching yesterday failed to find him.
Police, LandSAR volunteers and a helicopter scoured the big hill country of bush, bluffs and farmland surrounding Hayward's abandoned Toyota hatch on Old Mountain Road, but were last night forced to postpone the search until morning.
When the Waikato Times spoke with Hayward's wife, Kate, last night she said the family were still "keeping the vigil".
"There's no news. So we're just waiting and poring through scenarios in our head."
Mrs Hayward said 40 people would resume the search first thing this morning.
Police said they received a number of possible sightings of a male in his 50s with grey hair wearing a brown jacket walking along State Highway 26 between Hamilton and Morrinsville.
However, they were asking for public help to confirm the sightings.
Mr Hayward was last seen on Monday, when he left his Hamilton East home to stay with his son Christian in Raglan.
Mrs Hayward said her husband's a "spontaneous" character: Sometimes he'd be driving along and a hill would catch his eye. He'd pull over, hop out, climb it, then drive off again.
Or on the Coromandel Peninsula, he'd pull over, whip off his trousers and shirt, and dive into the sea for a spur of the moment swim.
He was "very" able to live in the moment.
Mrs Hayward said she half expected her husband to be in a farm house somewhere and to see the 67-year-old strolling across a paddock towards her.
Yet the last time she heard his voice was Monday afternoon. She didn't know anything was wrong until a member of the public noticed his abandoned car on Tuesday and the search began.
The couple had taken a "great walk" together on Monday. The spring weather was so superb Hayward decided to travel to Raglan and visit Christian, 22.
"I rang him about 4.30pm and said: Where are you? And he said he hadn't gone yet. I said: I'll see you tomorrow."
Christian Hayward couldn't make sense of the whole situation. It was "real out of character" and things didn't add up.
"He would have just gone maybe 10 minutes up the trail to get to the top [of Old Mountain Rd] to look at the sunset over the city and towards Raglan. When I was up there I thought: Wow, I see why he comes up here."
One scenario going through his mind was that his dad hurt himself, yet that didn't make sense because "he's only like a 15-minute walker kind of guy".
"He's not a big hiker. Even if he did get injured, he could easily make it back to his car.
"And while it was getting dark [on Monday] it wasn't like he went out in the middle of the night. There would have been light and he would have been able to get back.
"It's a bit bizarre, the circumstances, but I don't think he's dead or anything."
Christian searched for his dad, too, and didn't stop until 4am yesterday.
He managed to open the Toyota, which had petrol in the tank. The engine turned over normally. His dad's cellphone and Swanndri were inside.
Mrs Hayward said she was asked whether Mr Hayward was depressed, but "things were quite good".
Police described Mr Hayward as being of slim build, approximately 5'9" (1.75m), tall with short white/grey hair.
He was last seen wearing a brown cotton leather-look jacket, tan pants and light khaki green cap.
Anyone with information or possible sightings is asked to contact the Waikato Search and Rescue team at Hamilton Central Police Station on 07 858 6200.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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