Family of missing Taranaki man continue to search rugged bush

Karl Roberts has been missing for two weeks after crashing his car in Uruti on August 1.

Karl Roberts has been missing for two weeks after crashing his car in Uruti on August 1.

Karl Roberts' family are continuing to scour rugged bush between where he crashed his car and their home in the hope of finding him alive.

The only sign searchers have located of Karl Roberts are his sandshoes stuck in mud on a track on the other side of a stream, about three kilometres from where he crashed his car last Tuesday.

The 31-year-old's disappearance remains a mystery, police say it appears Roberts lost control of his green Subaru Impreza while travelling along Uruti Rd about 1.30pm.

Karl Roberts' car was found down a bank on Uruti Rd on August 1, but he hasn't been seen since.

Karl Roberts' car was found down a bank on Uruti Rd on August 1, but he hasn't been seen since.

Roberts' car left the road, about 45km northeast of New Plymouth, and crashed down a bank before coming to rest near a stream that runs parallel to the road.

Extensive search carried out for man missing after car crash
Taranaki man Karl Roberts still missing after police suspend search

His father Grant Roberts said since the discovery of his son's shoes, on Thursday, the trail had gone cold.  

"We just need another hint basically as to where he was going or if he tried to cross that river again," Grant said.

"We don't know what's happened after the crash and it was a fairly big crash really."

Grant said family and friends were concerned for his son's safety.

"We presume he has tried to get down to home but we just don't know why he hasn't made it, it looks simple on a map but there's some pretty rough country.

"Anything could have happened between the crash site and our house. It could be quite perilous, especially if you have had a knock on the head or are not feeling right."

Grant believed his son had some camping gear with him and said he had some survival skills but he was still concerned by the length of time he had been missing.

"He could disappear for a couple of days maybe, but this is going too long.

"We'd like to think that he has got his camping gear with him, that he uses, but even with that it's too long now - he should be back here."

He said while the official search had been suspended family, friends and the local community were still looking.

"We've covered a few areas we thought he might go, to huts or things like that but there has been no sign of him at all.

"We're now rethinking where we go next, between the crash site and our house there's pockets of bush that haven't been searched properly."

Grant said the support from the local community had been absolutely amazing.

"It's excellent, everyone is taking time out and it's all people with the skills and knowledge you need."

Roberts had left home to check his cellphone for messages as there was no coverage at the family's home.

The cellphone was found in his car. 

Police, Taranaki LandSAR volunteers and the Taranaki Community Rescue Helicopter thoroughly scoured the area around where Roberts' car was found on Wednesday and Thursday.

Senior Sergeant Thomas McIntyre said police inquiries were continuing in the background.

"We are just waiting for any new information to come to light," McIntyre said.

"It's a bit of a mystery and we are just working through the likely scenarios of where he might be."

McIntyre said the longer Roberts wasn't heard from the more concerned his family and police became for his safety.

Roberts is described as a Caucasian, of thin build about 1.75m tall and he was last seen wearing a black beanie and a knee length dark green gautex top.

 - Stuff

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