TRAGIC missing persons cases spanning several years will be considered as a police search operation is expanded along Port Macquarie's coastline following the discovery of three human bones at two local beaches.
Police are investigating the discovery after the first bone was uncovered by a spear fisherman in the waters off Flynns Beach on Saturday, June 15.
The divers handed the bone into Port Macquarie Police Station.
Mid North Coast Police commenced a search operation at the beach with the assistance of Sydney police divers on Sunday, June 16. No further items were located.
On Monday, June 17, officers from Port Macquarie Police District were advised that another two bones had been located in the waters around Flat Rock, east of Nobby Head, by another spear fisherman.
Mid-North Coast Superintendent Paul Fehon said the search will be expanded from the original search site.
"A police operation was to commence today (June 19) with police divers, but unfortunately due to conditions and currents in the area they were unable to enter the water," Supt Fehon said.
"We anticipate the police divers will be back later this week, pending the conditions, to ensure we have favourable conditions for them to conduct a thorough search."
The search will concentrate on Flynns Beach and Nobbys Beach.
Preliminary advice is that the recovered bones are human, a NSW Police spokesperson said in a statement issued on June 19.
Further examination and forensic testing is being carried out in an effort to secure samples for DNA analysis, with the aim of identifying the person or persons. Any results with be compared with missing person records.
"The bones have been taken for forensic examination and hopefully, through DNA, we will be able to link them to a missing person," Supt Fehon said.
"We're unable to determine how long that will take, it may be a number of weeks but we've asked for that process to commence immediately."
There are a number of missing people, some in tragic circumstances, over the last couple of years.Supt Paul Fehon
There have been several people who have gone missing in the waters off Port Macquarie over the last five years.
Two backpackers disappeared, believed drowned, off Shelly Beach in February 2019. Englishman Hugo Palmer, 20 and Frenchman Erwan Ferrieux, 21 have not been found.
In 2017, young Bronson Rhodes lost his life in the waters at Flynns Beach. It was a tragedy that rocked the local community.
"There are a number of missing people, some in tragic circumstances, over the last couple of years and at this stage we won't speculate," Supt Fehon said.
"The three bones will be examined and once we have definite DNA results we will match that to a missing person and those relatives will be informed.
"Police have contacted families of recent missing persons."
Inquiries are ongoing.