Joe Pryor was last seen in November.
The body of a man missing from Waikanae has been found, two weeks after he was last seen.
Joe Pryor’s family posted on Facebook on Saturday.
“Kia ora e te whanau. We are very sorry to let you know that after 15 days of searching, Joe has been found today in the Reikorangi area of Waikanae where he was last seen.
“Unfortunately, Joe has passed away. We wanted to thank everyone in this community who shared the posts, printed the flyers and gave us valuable information. This mammoth effort surely aided our search and is what led us to him in the end.
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“Joe was a wonderful, gentle, kind man who was loved so much by everyone who knew him. Through these two weeks we, the family and support team, have been through an extremely difficult time but recognise and continue to recognise the overwhelming love and kindness that we received from this group in New Zealand and around the world. Take care and thank you.”
Police confirmed on Saturday they had found a body at the small rural settlement of Reikorangi on the Kāpiti Coast. They didn’t confirm the identity.
A large search had been underway for Pryor, since he failed to return to work on November 26, after leaving a note stating he would be back in two hours.
CCTV footage showed Pryor leaving his office on Omahi Street in Waikanae on the Kāpiti Coast, at 8.05am on Friday morning.
He was carrying a backpack and had changed from his steel cap work boots into his walking boots.
CCTV cameras tracked Pryor walking through the Waikanae shops on Mahara Place and down Elizabeth St, towards Reikorangi Rd.
Elizabeth St is a built-up suburban area that turns into farmland and bush on Reikorangi Road.
An extensive private search by Pryor’s family, friends and community volunteers was being conducted, alongside police’s search.
The mysterious circumstances around Pryor’s disappearance had left his family and friends stumped, with Shannon Barclay saying her dad was “such a predictable, routines sort of guy”.
“It’s absolutely out of character.
“He’s never late. He would never let anyone down, so for him to leave like this is so super weird,” Barclay said.
A Facebook page to coordinate the private search had amassed 6500 followers and more than a hundred people had volunteered their time to join the search.