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Missing man with dementia dies after rescue teams find him in bush in Whangārei

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Brain Bench, 72, died after being found Sunday afternoon.

NZ POLICE/Delivered

Brain Bench, 72, died after being found Sunday afternoon.

The search for an elderly Northland man has come to a sad end when emergency services found the man but were unable to save him.

Searchers found 72-year-old Brian Bench in the bush in an area of ​​Parahaki, Whangārei on Sunday afternoon, but he died while emergency services were working on him.

“Despite the efforts of the emergency services, he unfortunately died on the spot,” said a police spokesman.

During the five-day search for the Whangārei man, helicopters and sniffer dogs were used to locate him.

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Bench was reported missing to the Northland Police Department after he was last seen Wednesday night.

Genna Gillispie, who lives next door to Bench, said he left his house around 8pm.

“There was a helicopter looking for him earlier today,” she said Friday.

“We had a number of people re-examine the area as well as sniffer dogs earlier on Thursday, but so far we have had no luck.”

Northland Police said there had been a possible sighting of Bench in the Whangārei CBD area at 7 a.m. Thursday.

Police said their thoughts were with the missing man’s family and thanked the public for their “overwhelming support”.

His next of kin have been notified and his death will be reported to the coroner, police said.

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