21 May 2018

McGrath's disappearance 'an awful, haunting experience'

5:47 pm on 21 May 2018

"It's been a year from hell really."

Simon McGrath wouldn't wish the last year of his life on anyone.

Michael McGrath

Michael McGrath Photo: NZ Police

His brother, Michael McGrath, was last seen at his Halswell home on Sunday 21 May, 2017.

Last year, police raided two houses and forensically examined some vehicles as part of their investigation dubbed Operation Renovation.

Divers also searched a body of water in Halswell. Officers then spent two months sorting through 2500 tonnes of rubbish at the Kate Valley landfill, north of Christchurch, and recovered some items of interest.

But one year on from the 49-year-old builder's disappearance, Simon McGrath said his family was no closer to getting closure.

"It's just a matter of dealing with one day at a time and just doing the best you can, really. It's an awful haunting experience," he said.

His brother's disappearance was out of character and within a week Mr McGrath had an instinct that "something wasn't right".

"I definitely know he's not coming back and I knew that a long time ago."

Simon McGrath, the brother of missing Christchurch builder Michael McGrath.

Simon McGrath, the brother of missing Christchurch builder Michael McGrath. Photo: RNZ / Maja Burry

Simon McGrath would not comment on what he thought had happened to Michael but he believed something sinister had occurred.

"He's not someone who's just gone and walked off. He's never done it in his life so, you know, you can immediately cross that off your list."

He said someone knew what had happened and they should "do the right thing" and contact the police.

"Would they really ever want to be in this situation or put someone that they were close to through this situation? It's just ridiculous."

Simon McGrath could not say what leads the police were following but believed they were making "good progress" and he hoped to get closure at some point.

"It's not for me to say. They don't give you a lot of information. Obviously they can't. But you've just to to trust that they're able to do that they can do," he said

He was "in constant touch" with the investigation head, Detective Inspector Darryl Sweeney.

Mr Sweeney said Operation Renovation remained active with a dedicated team of detectives.

"The passing of time has only strengthened our resolve to provide answers for Michael's family," he said.

Anyone with information on Michael McGrath's disappearance should call: 0800 findmichael (0800 346 364) or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.