Search continues for missing EBOP man

Jason Butler. Photo: Supplied / NZ Police.

A further extensive search operation is planned this weekend for missing Eastern Bay of Plenty man Jason Butler, who has been missing for two weeks.

Wearing a brown sleeveless oilskin coat, trousers, work boots and silver mirrored glasses, the fifty-year-old set off for a day tramp in the Hāparapara River area of Ōmaio on October 23.

Detective Senior Sergeant Paul Wilson says Butler may have a red bum bag-style bag with him.

Six Land Search and Rescue and Police Search and Rescue teams from Tauranga, Rotorua, Whakatāne and Gisborne have been searching for Butler with help from locals.

"The search and rescue planners are working closely with local whānau and community members whose knowledge of the area and skills in bush craft have been highly valuable to the overall search effort.

"These local searchers have been relentless in their own search activities to locate Jason."

Wilson says the search has involved a local helicopter, drones and river capable inflatable boats.

"The terrain is steep with thick native bush, many bluffs and narrow water courses. Searchers have described the terrain as being incredibly arduous."

Another search is planned for this weekend, marking two weeks since Butler has been missing.

"It is possible that Jason has left the bush at some stage over the period he has been missing, and police are encouraging anyone to report any potential sightings.

"Anyone who has information about Jason or his whereabouts should call 105, referencing file number 211027/1881."


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