A dog belonging to a man missing in Coromandel bush for more than two months has been found in Maratoto, inland from Whangamatā.
Jordan van Deursen failed to return from a hike in the Wentworth valley area with his terrier Bagho on October 29, and the official search was suspended after 10 days.
Police have now confirmed Bahgo has been found.
“The dog turned up at a rural address near to one of the track entrances linked to where Jordan was last known to be,” police said in a statement.
“The dog was then reunited with Jordan’s family and police were alerted.”
But there was still no sign of van Deursen, 29.
“Police and Land SAR are assessing the circumstances around Jordan’s dog being found, and reviewing information provided by the public,” the statement said.
A relative of van Deursen previously told RNZ Bahgo was the 29-year-old’s “best friend”.
“He’s hiking every day with his mate, his little dog, his best friend, he knows a bit about the bush but not enough to be out there this long,” uncle Mario Kerkhof said.
“I doubt he would’ve taken much with him if he was going for a quick hike, he would’ve just taken the basics, he probably wouldn’t even have taken any water knowing Jordan, he does rough it a bit. I think he had tramping boots and might have had a jersey.”
The alarm was not raised until three days after van Deursen began his Sunday hike, after his car was spotted still in the carpark the following Wednesday.
By then the weather had turned incredibly bad, with the tail of Cyclone Lola lashing the area.
An air and land search had not turned up any clues, and was suspended after 10 days.
Police want to hear from anyone with information on van Deursen’s whereabouts.