Police believe they have found the body of missing Taree man John Shaw

POLICE believe they have discovered the body of missing Taree man, John Shaw, after an extensive search of remote country near Walcha on Tuesday.

Specially trained searchers from Oxley police were deployed to an area near Yarrowitch and made the discovery on Tuesday in hard-to-access country.

Mr Shaw disappeared after leaving a lunch with family in Taree on Christmas Day.

John Shaw

John Shaw

Oxley Chief Inspector Jeff Budd told The Leader the area in which the body was discovered had been identified by rescuers but bad weather conditions hampered efforts in recent weeks.

"We have found a body in the search area, who police believe may be Mr Shaw," he said.

"The deceased person was located in extremely hostile and inaccessible country on Tuesday.

"Operations are currently underway to retrieve the body and a report will now be for the coroner."

Mid North Coast officers mounted a search for Mr Shaw after his vehicle was discovered on its roof about 25km east of Mt Seaview, on Boxing Day.

The hunt widened and Oxley police joined the search for Mr Shaw after his belongings were located along Myrtle Scrub Rd, about 25km from where his crashed ute was found.

Chief Inspector Budd said several searches of difficult terrain have been carried out since then, using all resources available.

"We sent four elite trained searchers from Oxley police into the area on Tuesday," he said.

"During the operation, we have used massive efforts from volunteers associations including the SES, VRA and Rural Fire.

"We've also used police cadaver dogs, Pol Air, and every resource we had at our disposal."

Chief Inspector Budd said police had been in constant contact with the family throughout the search.

"The family have been notified of the discovery but any formal identification won't be confirmed until the forensic process has been completed," he said yesterday.

"It's been a lengthy search, however, with the family in mind and anxieties that have been experiencing, our job was to find answers for them."

A report will now be prepared for the coroner.

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