NSW Ambulance paramedic Steve Goulding in the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter searching for missing man Christopher Keyes in rugged bushland near Mullumbimby.
NSW Ambulance paramedic Steve Goulding in the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter searching for missing man Christopher Keyes in rugged bushland near Mullumbimby.

Body found and search called off

THE search for a man missing since Christmas eve was called off yesterday afternoon after a body was found at Wilsons Creek, about 10km west of Mullumbimby.

Christopher Keyes, 37, was last seen about midnight on Christmas eve at a home on Upper Wilsons Creek Rd.

Police were contacted on the afternoon of Christmas day when other occupants of the house realised Mr Keyes was nowhere to be found.

They also noticed that Mr Keyes' bed had not been slept in and that his car and property were still at the premises.

An initial search of the area was conducted but failed to locate Mr Keyes.

Police continued the search at first light yesterday with four officers from the Mullumbimby unit of the State Emergency Service.

The Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter also joined the search. However, dense scrub and rugged bushland hindered the search effort from the air and the helicopter was stood down after only an hour.

"It was very hard to search, it was very thick bush and you can't see anything from the air," a Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter crewman said.

"The tree cover is too thick in that particular area."

Inspector Greg Jago from the Tweed/Byron local area command confirmed police had located the body of a male in the vicinity of the search area.

He also confirmed the search for Mr Keyes had been suspended.

But he would not confirm the body was that of Mr Keyes saying only that formal identification was yet to be completed.

He said a report would be prepared for the coroner.



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