1 Aug 2008

Missing man now presumed drowned

10:17 pm on 1 August 2008

A man missing in a river in the Bay of Islands is now officially presumed to have drowned.

Kerry Michael Witt, 40, has been the subject of a search since the body of his partner was found on Wednesday by neighbours, 1km downstream from her home.

Mr Witt and Lavona Cherrington, 49, are thought to have been swept away by floodwaters at Waikere.

The couple were last seen together in Kawakawa at 7.30pm on Tuesday.

On Friday, police said the search has been scaled down.

Although river levels have dropped, the water still remains high making the search difficult. Police say the water will have to drop by a metre before a full search resumes.