Police not treating missing Waikanae man's disappearance as suspicious

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Police not treating missing Waikanae man's disappearance as suspicious

Police don’t believe the circumstances of a Waikanae man’s disappearance are suspicious.

Joe Pryor went missing from his workplace on Friday morning when he left a note saying he would be back by 10.30am, but never returned.

His disappearance is considered extremely out of character and there are serious concerns for his wellbeing.

A police spokesperson said multiple search and rescue teams have been out searching for him, so far without success.

“At this stage we don’t believe the circumstances of his disappearance are suspicious.

“Police believe Joe is still somewhere in the wider Wellington region and will be back out searching for him again tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, the 63-year-old’s family are investigating a possible new sighting of him near Waikanae River.

His son, Lee Pryor, said this morning there have been a couple of potential sightings that searchers are trying to follow up on.

Someone thought they saw him down by Waikanae River in the area of the estuary, Pryor said.

“We’ve been in touch with whitebaiters down there to see if they saw anyone swimming in the water or anything like that.”

Police did not respond to questions about the potential new sighting.

Police not treating missing Waikanae man's disappearance as suspicious

Joe Pryor is missing after he left his workplace leaving a note saying he would be back by 10.30am, but never returned. Photo / NZ Police

Pryor said he had no idea where his dad would have gone to.

“What is most plausible to us is he was walking to a job, maybe it was a job sort of nearby, and he just got trapped somewhere…. we’ve had people searching all over Waikanae and door knocking.”

Almost 5,000 people are now following a Facebook page created to help with the search effort.

“The community has been fantastic,” Pryor said.

“We’ve had an overwhelming response to all this.”

He said Facebook was the best point of contact if anyone wanted to get in touch with the search party or help out.

The page said Joe Pryor had walked from Metco Engineering on Omahi St towards Ngaio Rd.

Police not treating missing Waikanae man's disappearance as suspicious

Nimeshika Pattabiraman, handing out missing person flyers in Waikanae. Photo / Mark Mitchell

He was wearing blue overalls, and later an orange and white bucket hat along with a TravelMarvel backpack.

Police said he is about 178cm tall and of a thin build.

He was spotted by a customer of his across the railway track outside the St Lukes church on Elizabeth St walking away from the tracks between 8.15am and 8.20am on Friday.

A police spokesperson confirmed they had received the report of this possible sighting.

This is currently the last known sighting of him.

He did not have his wallet on him and his car has been searched.

Anyone with any information on Pryor’s whereabouts is being asked to contact police on 105 or 111 quoting file number 211127/1938.

Alternatively, you can contact Crime Stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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