30 Apr 2012

Police confident fugitive escaped lagoon

4:45 am on 30 April 2012

Police in Greymouth are following strong leads after a man who jumped into a lagoon in the early hours of Saturday morning disappeared.

The man went into the muddy estuary at the Grey River mouth at 12.30am on Saturday after crashing the car he was in.

The police dive squad completed a search of the lagoon at Cobden, near Greymouth on Sunday afternoon but no sign of the man was found.

Inspector John Canning says police are satisfied the man is not in the lagoon and are following strong lines of inquiry as to his whereabouts.

Police believe they know who he is and no one has been reported missing in the area.

Inspector Canning says the man had been driving erratically, and police tried pulling him over but he drove off at speed and lost control almost immediately.

The man was last seen by officers in the muddy estuary, which initially sparked fears for his safety.

Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn says a similar incident happened just over two years ago.