- Search and rescue teams found a body on New Zealand’s Ashley River banks
- Body yet to be formally identified and a report will be prepared for the Coroner
- Training exercise was a second search for missing woman Emma Beattie, 20
- She went missing from the area on New Zealand’s South Island in December 1
Search and rescue teams came across the grisly discovery of a dead body on the banks of New Zealand’s Ashley River on Saturday afternoon.
Police had been using the training exercise in the area as a second search for missing Rangiora woman Emma Beattie, who went missing from the area on New Zealand’s South Island in December 1.
Police believe there were no suspicious circumstances.
Police in New Zealand are yet to confirm whether the body found on the banks of the Ashley River on Saturday is of missing woman Emma Beattie
Many of 100 participants involved in the most recent training exercise on the Ashley River were involved in the original search for missing woman Emma Beattie
‘The body was discovered around 4pm while Canterbury Police district was running a training exercise for Search and Rescue staff,’ Rangiora Police Senior Sergeant Paul Reeves said in a statement.
‘A formal identification will now be carried out. The death has been referred to the Coroner.’
Search and rescue teams combed the rugged terrain late last year before police scaled back the search due to exhausting ‘all possible search options.’
Many of 100 participants involved in the most recent training exercise were involved in the original search for Ms Beattie.
‘A lot of people involved in this exercise are involved in that search,’ SAR coordinator Sergeant Phil Simmonds earlier told Newshub.
The Ashley River on New Zealand’s South Island flows for 65 kilometres before entering the ocean at Waikuku Beach.
‘A lot of them feel like they have some unfinished business and are hoping to find her. It’s a chance to come train different techniques and sort out how capable we are.’
Teams were brought in from across the Canterbury region from as far as Fairlie and Waipara to conduct the search from the air and by foot.
Search dogs were also involved.
Teams mapped areas yet to be searched for Ms Beattie.
‘It’s very difficult; it’s up and down a lot,’ says David Williams from LANSAR South Canterbury told Newshub.
‘One minute you’re on firm ground the next minute you’re in a hole.’
The Ashley River flows for 65 kilometres before it enters the ocean at Waikuku Beach.
New Zealand Police will refer the death to the Coroner once the body has been formally identified