The Missing: Craig Hampton

Monday 6 July, 8.30pm

Statistics indicate around 14,000 people are reported missing in New Zealand every year. Many of these people are found, or turn up of their own accord, but there are still approximately 250 official unsolved cases.

TV ONE’s new local series The Missing goes behind the headlines and conducts new investigations into these cold cases to find out what could have happen to New Zealand’s 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. With the support of the families, The Missing brings in the best experts available to re-examine the missing persons’ case details; follow up new leads; review old interviews; retrace searches; explore theories; test existing evidence and statements; conduct new interviews; and apply new technology – all seeking to find out what really happened.

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.”

Tonight’s episode focuses on Craig Hampton who disappeared Wellington Anniversary Weekend, 1999. Life was looking good for Hampton: he was happily married with a new son whom he doted on, and was looking forward to meeting up with an old mate who was back in town wanting to catch up for a spot of surfing, or to perhaps dive for a few crays. With boards on the car roof and dive gear in the boot, Craig and his beloved dog left home early. But he never made it to his friend’s – and he never returned home.

Craig’s wife Judy says it’s the unknown that is difficult: “It’s hard all the time – not knowing. And in the end you stop talking about it so much and you kind of … I kind of came to an acceptance that this was my story – or his story – that he went missing and we don’t know.”

“I think if the car had been found by the sea I might have felt differently, but the fact that his car was moved from Arthur Street, broken into, that his dog was left in the car for five hours – all those things around the car make me think something else might have happened.”

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