No sign of missing man
HOPES of finding missing 72-year-old Walter Johnston lie with the police dog unit, trail bike squad, diving team and local landowners on horseback after police scaled down their search over the weekend.
Mr Johnston has not been seen or heard from in more than a week since leaving his caravan on a property near Buccarumbi on December 12.
Inspector Scott Parker from the Coffs Clarence Local Area Command praised the efforts of the State Emergency Services, Rural Fire Services, Volunteer Rescue Association and the NSW Ambulance Service for their assistance in trying to locate Mr Johnston, adding the Police Dog Unit was now their main hope of finding him.
"Ongoing search efforts have been limited by the terrain and with the logistics and personnel involved police are now reliant on indications from the dogs in locating Mr Johnston," he said.
"The dogs are able to distinguish the scent of a human from other scents in the area and in the past they have proved very successful in locating missing persons.
"Once we (police) are satisfied that all our capabilities in locating Mr Johnston have been used to their full potential we will look at scaling the search back further."
Insp Parker said police divers had already cleared a number of dams, a creek and abandoned mines in the area.
He said the narrow movements of Mr Johnston prior to December 12 lead police to believe he is still in the area.
Police are in contact with members of Mr Johnston's family and conducting an electronic search on the missing man to ensure they "haven't left a stone unturned."
The search continues.