Community pays tribute to Mr Horn

    Invercargill resident Mikayla Scobie pays her respects to Raymond Horn on Monday.

    MISSING no more, Invercargill man Raymond Horn’s body was found last week.

    The 68-year-old had been missing since February 15.

    His body was found in a wooded area near Bill Richardson Dr, Invercargill, last Friday.

    The area was next to a popular walking spot, the Waihopai Walkway, which follows the Waihopai River.

    Mr Horn’s older brother, Wayne, said Raymond’s formal identification notification came as a relief.

    “There’s no suspicious circumstance. He wasn’t harmed in any way,” Wayne said.

    “With his medical condition, we think he’s probably gone under the bush out of the weather and curled up for a sleep.”

    Police notified Wayne of his brother’s body being found on Friday.

    “We’ll have him home soon,” he said.

    Wayne said he was still numb, but formal identification helped him feel a little better.

    “We all knew it was him anyway.”

    Describing his brother as “bloody awesome”, the impact he had on those who knew him became obvious.

    “He lived in Ashburton before he moved to Christchurch, and the posters I put up were in the areas he lived in.

    “A lot of people broke down into tears when I gave them the posters I put up. They couldn’t believe it.”

    His brother enjoyed taking morning walks.

    “On Monday, he did his usual thing. But he never returned.”

    He could not fault the search for his brother, or those involved in it.

    Raymond would be cremated in Christchurch, and a service would be held, he said.

    He would be buried with his son after Easter.

    At the entrance to the walkway close to the trees where his body was found, people came to pay their respects, laying flowers and other items.

    Among them were apples and a Fentimans rose lemonade.

    Invercargill resident Mikayla Scobie visited the makeshift memorial on Monday.

    Ms Scobie lives near Queens Park, an area of interest during the search as CCTV footage had shown Mr Horn had walked there the day he went missing.

    “I think going out there to pay my respects was not just about how he must have been feeling but having sympathy for the people who weren’t able to find him, and his family.”

    She said anyone who had put their own time into searching for Raymond had not wasted it.

    “In a small community like this, it brings everyone together, even if it is a tragedy.”

    She hoped a permanent memorial would be placed where the flowers were now.

    “For anyone who may have lost a family member who was not able to be found.

    “It’s nice for them to have something to look at.”

    Police previously said the Waihopai River had been searched.

    Detective Sergeant Mark McCloy thanked police staff, Land Search and Rescue volunteers and concerned members of the community who had helped look for him.

    A police spokesperson said hundreds of man hours were put into the search for Mr Horn.

    Search areas were determined based on information police received about Raymond’s life and routines, sightings of him after he went missing, and statistical behaviour profiles for people with his conditions.”

    They said the general area in which Mr Horn was eventually located was searched.

    However, this did not include the specific location in which he was found.

    As with all Search and Rescue operations, a debrief would be undertaken to understand if there were any learnings which could be applied to future similar operations, they said.

    His death had been referred to the coroner and was not being treated as suspicious.