Lofty Maki has been missing for two months, but his family and Bay of Plenty Police still search for answers.
His family last saw him on Tuesday 6 December 2022; Lofty, who lived in Murupara, was visiting his sister and told her he intended to travel to Rotorua that day. He left his sister’s place in a white Suzuki Grand Vitara – registration LJJ931 – and drove to the Roturua Pak’nSave, then home again, for an unknown period of time.
Lofty’s route from that point isn’t certain and he was reported missing on the evening of 9 December.
Police discovered his vehicle had been detected by cameras on 7 December, at 1.56am. First it was driving towards Napier, then seven minutes later the vehicle was detected driving back towards Taupō.
Checks of Taupō, Whakatāne and Rotorua hospitals turned up no results.
Over the following days, Police made enquiries with the bank, supermarkets, council, and followed the leads that trickled in, but none led to 63-year-old Lofty.
One of the last physical sightings of Lofty was at the Pak’nSave, about 5.30pm on 6 December.
Officers carried out foot patrols, area searches, and followed up with witnesses, to no avail.
Lofty is described as being of a small, thin build, between 160cm and 170cm tall, and he is possibly in the early stages of dementia. At times he forgets who, or where he is and occasionally leaves his car running to keep the interior warm.
Over the past two months, Police, family and friends have carried out extensive searches across the region. Lofty’s loved ones have painstakingly searched every possible fishing spot in the Western Bay of Plenty, along with service stations and the places he frequented. Unfortunately, nothing substantial has turned up.
However, there’s still hope that someone can help answer the question of what has happened to Lofty.
Lofty’s case remains open and anyone with information is asked to call 105 or fill out a report online at 105.police.govt.nz, using ‘Update Report’. Please reference the file number 221210/8845.