15 October 2008
Hamilton Police continue to hold grave fears for the safety of a tetraplegic man who went missing in the city's central business district late yesterday morning.
Paul John Fraser, 53, was last seen in his motorised wheelchair travelling across Garden Pl heading towards Victoria St about 10.43am.
Detective Senior Sergeant Chris Page of the Hamilton CIB said the focus of today's search centred around the area of the Hamilton Parade by the Waikato River.
Mr Page said Police had received information that a runner may have seen Mr Fraser in that area between 12-1pm yesterday.
"Investigators would like to speak to the runner to gather what information he may have, first hand," said Mr Page.
"Described as a male Maori wearing green shorts the runner had a distinctive Maori design tattoo on his left shoulder and said that he ran every day. If this person is you or you recognise his man's description Hamilton Police are very keen to speak to you."
Members of the Wellington based Police Dive Squad are expected to arrive in Hamilton overnight and assist in the search of the Waikato River tomorrow morning.
"Already Police and search and rescue personnel have combed the paths and walkways in the area while the Police Rescue Boat was launched to search the river bank," said Mr Page.
As the time span since he was last seen lengthens Mr Page said Police concerns for Mr Fraser's wellbeing deepen.
"Mr Fraser has no mobility and controls his wheelchair with head movements so we're hoping this sought of device will prompt people's memories of if and when they may have seen him.
"The wheelchair was described as having a distinctive red bag hanging off the back of it at the time of Mr Fraser's disappearance."
Anyone who has seen Mr Fraser or may know the identity of the male runner in the area of the Hamilton Parade between 12-1pm yesterday is asked to contact the Hamilton Police on 07 858 6200.