SEARCH AND RESCUE

Missing King Country siblings

Tuesday 18 December 2007, 4:27PM
By New Zealand Police
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TE KUITI

The family of two siblings who set off on a trout fishing expedition in the King Country but failed to return overnight are concerned for their safety.

Senior Sergeant Rob Van Kalken of Te Kuiti Police said university student Caeli Gunderson, 27, had gone down to her family's Benneydale home for the study break.

"Her 22-year-old brother Steven had wanted to go trout fishing so the pair left yesterday but left their cell-phones behind.

"They'd prepared a smoker for their return and their mother had been asked to buy the sawdust as they were due back last night," said Mr Van Kalken.

Concerned something was amiss the pair's mother began a search of likely fishing spots at 5am before raising the alarm.

"Steven was due back at work today but may have gotten that confused."

Te Kuiti Police began an area canvas today searching popular fishing spots and talking to locals and relatives trying to locate the pair.

"We hold some concern that they may have driven off the road somewhere, our staff searched between Te Kuiti, Waimiha, Piropiro and the Ongarue River Rd but it's a big area," said Mr Van Kalken.

"We have a possible sighting of Steven in Taumarunui and we have to consider they may have gone through to Taupo or Turangi."

The pair were driving in a dark blue 1994 sporterised Mitsubishi Magna station wagon, registration TG1518.

Anyone with information on the pair's location is asked to contact Te Kuiti Police on 07 8781450.

"And if anyone is speaking to the pair please tell them to contact their very worried family," said Mr Van Kalken.