A body found on the edge of the Waikato River near Riverlea Rd yesterday is believed to be that of missing Kawhia man Trevor Smith.
Hamilton Senior Sergeant Gael Mockford yesterday said it was too soon to know if it was Smith but his whanau took to Facebook yesterday, confirming it was him. Smith's niece, Amanda Puke, posted a message from the whanau that Smith had been found.
"It is with sadness Mere [Mary Smith, Trevor's wife] and whanau advise that our loved one Trevor Smith was found later this afternoon in Hamilton, passed away," she wrote.
Neither Puke or other family members could be reached for comment by the time the Waikato Times went to print, with one saying they were "having service" and could not talk.
Smith, who had dementia and type-2 diabetes, went missing from the Waikato Hospital entrance on March 16 while he was visiting family members.
A search began immediately with police and land search and rescue teams scouring city streets and gullies, and enlisting helicopters and boats to check Hamilton's Lake Rotoroa and the Waikato River.
Whanau and friends travelled to Hamilton from Kawhia, Tokoroa, Rotorua and Auckland and had teams of up to 50 people, aided by members of the public, looking for Smith.
"The whanau [family] wish to thank all those who gave donations of food, koha and their endless time to search for Trevor, words cannot express our gratitude to everyone," Puke posted.
Mockford said the body was reported to police by a member of the public who saw it on the edge of the river near the suburb of Riverlea, in southern Hamilton, about 2.30pm.
Mockford said it was likely the body's identity would be known today.
Smith was last seen on Peacockes Rd, which is just north of the Riverlea suburb. A post mortem is now being carried out to determine Smith's cause of death.
- Waikato Times