2 Jan 2011

Missing man last seen in Matarangi on January 1

5:01 pm on 2 January 2011

Police searching for a missing man in Whitianga believe he may have been in a seaside town further north on State Highway 25.

Cem Erbay from Auckland was last seen by his friends at about 4am on New Year's Day, at the end of Simpson's Beach in Whitianga.

Senior Sergeant Graham Shields says a team of 60 search and rescue staff have been following up reported sightings of the 19-year-old, in Matarangi, north of Whitianga.

He says police are confident Mr Erbay was in Matarangi between 9am and 10am on 1 January in a disoriented state but there have been no sightings of him since then.

Mr Shields say police are concerned for his safety.

He says Mr Erbay has a cardiac condition and is also prone to periods of disorientation.

Mr Shields says the police hope someone may have given Mr Erbay a lift, but the search will continue and, on Monday, helicopters may be used.

Mr Erbay is described as having olive skin, of medium build with short brown hair and 1.75 metres tall. He was last seen wearing a long sleeve white T-shirt and jeans.