17 Jul 2016

Search teams find Taupo 78-year-old's body

4:20 pm on 17 July 2016

The body of a 78-year-old man, who had been missing for four days, has been found in forest north of his rural home, near Taupo.

Alan Pritchard, who had Alzheimer's disease, was last seen putting out the rubbish outside his home at Bonshaw Park on Thursday morning.

Police, search and rescue teams and a rescue helicopter had been looking for him since Thursday.

Senior Constable Barry Shepherd said more than 60 volunteers from as far away as Waikato and Hawke's Bay had been out each day looking for Mr Pritchard.

When the teams eventually found him shortly before midday today, it was bittersweet, he said.

"It's been a significant effort for the volunteers for sure, it's been a bit of torture I guess for the family not knowing where Alan got to.

"Really sad that he died, but good news that we've been able to find him and get him back to his family."

Mr Shepherd said Mr Pritchard's death would be referred to the coroner.