Saturday, 18 September 2021 - 10:40am |

UPDATE: Search and rescue operation in Marokopa and Kiritehere, Waikato District

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Statement to be attributed to Waikato West Area Commander Will Loughrin:

Search activity update:

Search activity in the Marokopa area has resumed this morning with a ground-based coastline search.

Police are aware that members of the public are wanting to participate in their own searches.

We understand people want to help however the search area is extremely challenging and we don't want a situation where people become injured or trapped, causing another search or rescue incident.

We ask anyone wanting to search to stay safe in the sandy beach areas only at Marokopa and Kiritehere.

If you locate anything that you believe may be of interest, first take a photo (if possible) of where you found it and then contact Police on 105 and quote file number 210913/1952.

Police would rather have the opportunity to review all items located and then discount them if they are not of significance.

Update: Request for motorcycle whereabouts:

Police can also confirm we have accounted for the 2004 Honda XR400 motorcycles that we believed Tom Phillips has recently owned and are satisfied it is not linked to the family’s disappearance.

We are still wanting assistance to identify the whereabouts of the smaller 2019 Honda CRF50.

Movement of Tom Phillips 2004 Toyota Hilux ute:

Police are aware a number of people have had interactions with Tom Phillip's ute while it was on the beach at Marokopa.

This continues to be an important line of enquiry for Police and we strongly encourage anyone who may have had any direct interaction with the vehicle and has not yet been spoken to by Police to get in touch as soon as possible - via 105 and quote file number 210913/1952.


Issued by Police Media Centre