New CCTV found as mystery deepens in Joseph Ahuriri disappearance

Wed, Mar 15

New surveillance camera footage has been found in the case of missing Gisborne man Joseph Ahuriri with investigators now extending search areas as a result.

Hawke's Bay Police Inspector Martin James said in a statement that teams were extending their search efforts into "remote areas north of Bay View."

Ahuriri has been missing since he was last seen on February 14, driving his white Toyota Hilux.

A newly-discovered recording at the Waitomo Fuel Stop at Bay View shows Joseph and his vehicle at 5.46am on the day.

"The footage indicates that when Joseph left this location, he drove north towards the Bay View village," James said.

"The recent discovery of the Bay View CCTV footage has been part of an extensive CCTV canvassing phase in the investigation into Joseph's disappearance.

"This phase has been complicated by the fact that a lot of CCTV in the Hawke's Bay area was not working at the time due to power failures.

Joseph Ahuriri.

Previously, police last believed Ahuriri was seen at 5.15am in Havelock North – around 30 kilometres south of the Bay View Waitomo Fuel Stop.

The 40-year-old was previously reported as being part of the region's uncontactable list, but was reclassified two weeks ago as a missing person after police said they believed his disappearance wasn't related to Cyclone Gabrielle.

"The investigation team is interested in viewing CCTV footage from Seafield Road and Glengarry Road and ask that anyone in this area who has CCTV and who has not already been approached by police to please make contact with us."

The police inspector said, "regular contact has been maintained with his family, who have been kept up-to-date with the investigation."

Joseph Ahuriri's vehicle.

"Police supported by the Defence Force and Urban Search and Rescue have carried out extensive searches for Joseph and his vehicle over the past month," James said.

"Search areas have included around Whakatu, Clive, Esk Valley, along the Napier-Taupo Road, State Highway 5 and State Highway 2, in addition to many of the rural roads off SH5 and SH2.

"Police have also interviewed a number of Joseph's friends and associates in an effort to confirm his movements since he was reported missing.

"Police continue to work hard to locate Joseph and appreciate the assistance from people who have come forward with information and CCTV footage."

In late February, police said: "While Joseph has had no contact with family or police since the cyclone, inquiries to date suggest it is unlikely that his disappearance is cyclone-related, although this cannot be fully ruled out."

Anyone who has information that could assist the investigation is urged to contact police by calling 105 and referencing 230225/2804


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