17 Sep 2013

Missing couple's rental van found down bluff

5:58 pm on 17 September 2013

Police have found the badly damaged rental van of a missing Canadian couple 80m down a bluff on the South Island's West Coast.

Connor Hayes, 25, and Joanna Lam, 24, were last seen at Fox Glacier on 10 September. Concerns for their safety were raised when Ms Lam failed to check into her Nelson accommodation and to report for work in the city on Monday.

Part of the wrecked rental van was located earlier today in a gorge off the Haast Pass Road, at Haast Gates.

The rear wheels and chassis of the vehicle were found about 80m down a bluff in the Haast River. The vehicle's body and engine have not been found.

Police say they do not know whether the Canadian couple were in the vehicle when it left the road.

A police crash investigator and photographer are at the scene and a full scale search will resume at first light.