19 Dec 2016

Search for missing pair turns overseas

5:26 pm on 19 December 2016

Police are speaking to overseas associates of John Beckenridge, who disappeared with his stepson Mike Zhao-Beckenridge, in Invercargill nearly two years ago.

John Beckenridge, left, and Mike Zhao-Beckenridge

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

Mike, who at the time was an 11-year-old pupil at James Hargest College, was picked up from school at lunch-time by Mr Beckenridge in breach of a parenting order.

Wreckage found 11 days later at the bottom of a cliff near Curio Bay in the Catlins was later confirmed to be that of Mr Beckenridge's Volkswagen, but no bodies were found in the car.

Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Stu Harvey said border alerts had remained in place since the pair went missing.

Mr Harvey said police enquiries were ongoing and they were speaking to associates of Mr Beckenridge who lived overseas.

In April 2015, one month into the investigation, the police said all the evidence pointed to a tragic murder-suicide involving Mr Beckenridge driving his stepson off the cliff.

Earlier this year, New Zealand Institute of Professional Investigators chairman Ron McQuilter, who had been following the case, said there was a real possibility the pair were still alive.

He said Mr Beckenridge had five aliases and access to several passports.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs