3 Dec 2014

Queenstown still focus of kidnap saga

9:09 am on 3 December 2014

Police are keeping an open mind on the whereabouts of two men wanted in connection with a kidnapping case though inquiries are focusing on the Queenstown region.

They are still looking for Joshua Veint and Pita Wilson after three men were abducted in the Queenstown area last week. A young Queenstown woman is also missing.

Pita Wilson, left, and Joshua Veint.

Pita Wilson, left, and Joshua Veint. Photo: Supplied

Two of the men, Andrew Lee and Casey Johnston, were allegedly abducted on Wednesday, but released soon after.

A third man, Joseph Armstrong, was found by police on Sunday night and needed medical treatment for head injuries.

Inspector Olaf Jensen said police were now also gravely concerned for the safety of Lilly Boden who has been missing since last Tuesday.

"Lilly Boden ... is a friend of Joshua Veint. We believe that they are together," Mr Jensen said.

Lily Boden

Lily Boden Photo: NZ Police

"Her parents would like her to make contact with them directly, or with the police. They are concerned for her well-being."

Friends of Mr Veint told Radio New Zealand he was a skilled outdoorsman and could have gone into hiding in the Southland bush.

They said he had the ability to survive there for months.

Inspector Jensen said police believed Mr Wilson was still in Queenstown and Mr Veint was somewhere in the greater Queenstown area.

However, he said the police were considering all options in their hunt for the pair.

The two men could resolve the situation by making contact with the police, he said.

Meanwhile, Mark Taylor, 17, was remanded without plea in the Invercargill District Court yesterday, on charges of kidnapping Andrew Lee and Casey Johnston.

Mr Taylor will re-appear in the Queenstown District Court in January.

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