Police reiterate advice to Taunoa to turn himself in

THE Gisborne man at the centre of last week’s intensive search in the Wairoa River, who then turned out to be alive, remains at large and police have repeated their plea for him to turn himself in.

Ray Taunoa, 54, called a family member on Friday to say he was alive, after fears he had drowned in the river when he evaded police.

His vehicle was found abandoned on the bank of the Wairoa River and there were footprints leading from the vehicle to the river.

“We know for sure that Ray is alive but his exact whereabouts still remain unknown at this stage,” said Sergeant Greg Lexmond, who co-ordinated last week’s search.

Mr Taunoa was wanted by police on alleged criminal matters, the nature of which have not yet been disclosed.

“We would again ask him to give himself up.”

The search involved police, the national police dive squad, search and rescue personnel and other volunteers.

Sergeant Lexmond said the cost had been “substantial.”

It continued right up until the time on Friday that police were advised Mr Taunoa had been in contact with a family member.

“It is in Ray’s best interests now to come forward.”

THE Gisborne man at the centre of last week’s intensive search in the Wairoa River, who then turned out to be alive, remains at large and police have repeated their plea for him to turn himself in.

Ray Taunoa, 54, called a family member on Friday to say he was alive, after fears he had drowned in the river when he evaded police.

His vehicle was found abandoned on the bank of the Wairoa River and there were footprints leading from the vehicle to the river.

“We know for sure that Ray is alive but his exact whereabouts still remain unknown at this stage,” said Sergeant Greg Lexmond, who co-ordinated last week’s search.

Mr Taunoa was wanted by police on alleged criminal matters, the nature of which have not yet been disclosed.

“We would again ask him to give himself up.”

The search involved police, the national police dive squad, search and rescue personnel and other volunteers.

Sergeant Lexmond said the cost had been “substantial.”

It continued right up until the time on Friday that police were advised Mr Taunoa had been in contact with a family member.

“It is in Ray’s best interests now to come forward.”

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