Police complete exploratory work at Tokoroa property

Wednesday 7 March 2012, 3:43PM

By New Zealand Police



Members of Tokoroa Police have completed exploratory excavation work in the rear garden of a residential property in Tokoroa. The exploratory excavation has not uncovered any items of interest at the house.

The excavation work follows a privately funded sonar search of the area where a toddler went missing more than 40 years ago. The sonar search located an area of anomaly which Police considered required further investigation.

Two year old Jefferie Hill went missing from outside his Tokoroa home on 28 September 1968. An extensive search was undertaken, including the draining of the Matarawa Creek, but no trace of him or a body was found. In 1969, a Coroner concluded that Jefferie had drowned in the creek.

Detective Sergeant Kevan Verry from Tokoroa Police says Police cases like this are never closed and Jefferie is still listed as a missing person.

"We are always open to receiving new information that may shed new light on a case and Police will always investigate new information – as we did today.

"In this case, we have been supportive of the private efforts to search for Jefferie in and around the creek and have met with the family and others involved over the past six months to discuss the case.

"We felt that the report provided following the sonar search highlighted an area that warranted further investigation, hence the excavation work today."

"Today's operation has involved excavating an area approximately 1.5 square metres and to a depth of approximately 75 centimetres.

"This work has not uncovered any item of interest and Police will shortly leave the property."

Detective Sergeant Verry says the property excavated today was not owned by the current owners when Jefferie went missing. Permission was granted by the current owners to undertake the exploratory work.