Body found in Raymond Stirling search

Raymond Stirling. Photo: NZ Police.

A man’s body has been found in the Hamilton suburb of Rototuna. 

The discovery was made on Saturday afternoon and while formal identification is yet to take place, it’s believed to be missing Hamilton man Raymond Stirling. 

Raymond, a 84-year-old who suffered from mild dementia, has been missing since he left his Halcione Close home on Monday, January 15.

The body was found by a member of a search party out looking for Stirling in the Rototuna area.

The day after Raymond went missing, an intensive search by police, family members and dozens of volunteers began.

It was kept up for more than a week before being scaled back. 

Family continued with the search, trawling the river and surrounding streets for any sign of the great-grandfather. 

Love of family and "overwhelming support" from strangers who turned out in droves to help scour the northern suburbs helped get them through emotionally, Raymong’s daughter Kim Kelly said at the time.

But by the eighth day with no result, police moved their focus to the river, enlisting divers.

Still, there was nothing.

"It’s really hard, not knowing where he is. We just really want to find him, " says Kelly.

Family had planned to search bush areas close to Flagstaff area and road verges on Sunday, but it was called off in a social media post on Saturday evening.

"We have had some developments and due to this, tomorrow’s search has been suspended," it said.

The family’s mission to find Stirling had attracted many volunteer helpers and well-wishers, and the family’s post about suspending the search had 250 comments and 183 shares by 5.30pm Sunday.

Waikato police Senior Sergeant Simon Cherry confirmed the death of the man found in Rototuna was not suspicious. 

A formal identification and post-mortem were set to take place on Sunday, he says. 

The death had been referred to the Coroner. 

Story orignially published on -Stuff.


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