The Missing: Connan Bolitho

Monday 13 July, 8.30pm

New local series The Missing goes behind the headlines and conducts new investigations on missing people, taking a look at the lives of the families who have lost a loved one, and the impact that having no reunion, and no closure, has had. Tonight’s episode looks at the story of Connan Bolitho, a fit, enthusiastic 21-year-old who went missing on a solo month-long tramp in the Arthur’s Pass region 18 years ago.

One of the experts involved in The Missing is researcher and Missing Persons author Scott Bainbridge. He says it is difficult to imagine what life would be like if a loved one were to simply vanish without a trace. “Try then, to fast forward 10, 20, or 30 years – maybe even more – and still have no answers. This is a reality for a number of New Zealand families.”

Connan Bolitho was a member of the NZ Alpine Club, and when he disappeared, he had gone tramping as part of a significant training regime he had set himself to prepare to represent New Zealand at an international mountaineering event in the Himalayas later in 1991. Five days into his trip, Bolitho left a logbook entry at Harman Hut outlining his intended route to Crawford Hut – something an outdoorsman of his experience should have been able to accomplish easily in a day.

Despite extensive searches by Police, Search and Rescue, and members of his Tararua Tramping Club, Connan Bolitho has not been found. So how did he go missing on what should have been a day’s excursion for the fit and hugely experienced tramper?

Subscribe to our mailing list

About the author