31 Mar 2015

Pair unlikely to be in wreck - police

3:47 pm on 31 March 2015

Police believe it is unlikely a missing Southland boy and his step-father are in an underwater car wreck near Curio Bay in the Catlins.

Police placed markers above Blue Cod Bay where tyre tracks came to an end. The cove, near Curio Bay, is at the centre of the search for Michael Zhao-Beckenridge, 11, and his stepfather John Beckenridge.

The cove near Curio Bay at the centre of the search for Michael Zhao-Beckenridge and John Beckenridge. Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

John Beckenridge, left, and Mike Zhao-Beckenridge

John Beckenridge, left, and Mike Zhao-Beckenridge Photo: SUPPLIED

Michael Zhao-Beckenridge, 11, has been missing for 18 days, along with John Beckenridge, 64, who is in breach of a parenting order.

Police are looking at options to recover Mr Beckenridge's luxury Volkswagen Touareg, which went off a cliff near Curio Bay into a rocky cove.

A police spokesperson said initial indications from police divers who viewed the wreck on Sunday were that there were no bodies inside.

He said there were a range of possibilities for how the car got into the water and for where the missing pair were.

The cove near Curio Bay, with a red buoy to mark the spot where an oil slick was found.

The cove near Curio Bay, with a red buoy to mark the spot where an oil slick was found. Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

The cove near Curio Bay

Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

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