The body of a Boggabri man has been found in the Namoi River, six days after he was reported missing.
74-year-old pensioner Peter Riordan was last seen at about 3.30pm on Friday when he returned to his home at Boggabri Caravan Park after attending a friend’s funeral.
More than 20 SES volunteers, Barwon Local Area Command police and the police air-wing, Polair, were called in to search along the banks of the river for Mr Riordan on Monday and called off the search late that day without success.
Yesterday police attended an isolated fishing spot on the Namoi River approximately 20km north of Boggabri where they located tyre marks leading into the water.
This morning police divers and volunteers from Narrabri VRA and Boggabri SES conducted a search of the river where they located the man’s silver Toyota Landcruiser submerged.
A further search of the river was conducted by police locating the 72-year-old man’s body in the water.
A crime scene was established and the man’s body was recovered.
Boggabri man Trevor Donnelly said he had known Mr Riordan for years and he was just a happy-go-lucky man who loved his fishing, travelling to various fishing spots around the area a couple of times a week.
Mr Donnelly said the pensioner would normally tell his neighbours at the caravan park to look after his plants if he was going away for more than a night, and he would also take his camping trailer to sleep in.
“But he didn’t ask anyone this time,” Mr Donnelly said, and the 74-year-old’s camping trailer is still parked outside his caravan.
Brian Fuller, a Boggabri Caravan Park resident and neighbour to Mr Riordan, said that after attending a funeral and wake at the Boggabri Bowling Club, Mr Riordan had told several people that he planned on going fishing that night.
“Last thing I heard was that he rang a mate of his on Friday night, saying he was out fishing and asked whether a storm was coming,” Mr Fuller said.
A storm struck Boggabri on Friday evening with 14mm of rain falling, raising the Namoi River’s level and making it difficult for searchers to find where Mr Riordan might have camped.
Mr Fuller said the pensioner had moved to Boggabri from Gunnedah several years ago and was well known in town.