Missing University of Otago employee found dead

Missing University of Otago employee found dead

The body of missing Health Science Library Team Leader David Palmer has been found after a two-week Search and Rescue operation in the Ahuriri Conservation Park.

Mr Palmer’s body was located in a creek bed at the bottom of a 60m-high steep bank in the Canyon Creek area on Saturday 19 May. He was first reported missing after failing to return from a three-hour expedition on the Dingle Burn Track on Saturday 5 May.

Police confirmed to the ODT that the place of discovery was within the wider search area, but that “extremely steep ravines, rocky boulders, overgrowth and ground cover” had made the search extremely dangerous and difficult.

Family and friends of Mr Palmer extended thanks to the many people who contributed to the search. Close friend Elisabeth Lukeman expressed her gratitude and relief to the ODT, saying “we deeply appreciate [Search and Rescue’s] dedication and determination to bring Dave home.”

Constable Nayland Smith of Omarama praised Search and Rescue volunteers and police staff, who had proved to be “more than 100% committed to bring Mr Palmer back to his family” in what had been a “huge” operation.

Mr Palmer’s death would now be referred to the coroner to determine the cause and time of death.
This article first appeared in Issue 13, 2012.
Posted 7:40pm Sunday 27th May 2012 by Claudia Herron.