Gordon Copeland missing near Moree: Police launch internal investigation

MISSING MAN: Gordon Copeland was last seen in the Gwydir River at Yarraman in the early hours of July 10.
MISSING MAN: Gordon Copeland was last seen in the Gwydir River at Yarraman in the early hours of July 10.

NSW Police have launched an internal investigation after a man disappeared near Moree.

An extensive search has failed to find any trace of 22-year-old Gordon Copeland, who was allegedly the passenger of a vehicle being driven at high speed, before fleeing.

A police spokeswoman said the matter had been deemed a critical incident, meaning it was being internally investigated.

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"Until that is concluded, we can't say anything further on the matter," she said.

It comes as family members pleaded with the community to help them continue their search.

Initially the area was scoured by local crews from Fire and Rescue NSW, the NSW Rural Fire Service and State Emergency Service, without success.

A further search was conducted involving officers from Police Rescue, Police Diving Unit, officers on trail bikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), assisted by volunteers from SES, RFS, VRA and the local community but was unsuccessful.

The police spokeswoman said resources had been poured into the region during the first few days. She said while they were required during the initial search, there came a point where the continued use of those resources could no longer be justified.

"Other things happen across the state each day which means those larger resources need to be (diverted)," she said.

"And I know that can be difficult for the family to understand, but it doesn't mean we are not still searching.

"Locals will still be in the region and act upon any information that comes in from the public," the spokeswoman said. "We never stop looking for a missing person."

A number of local young men have searched the riverbank scaling an area of about 40km for about 10 days, but the family said at the meeting, now the police search had been "called off" they needed the community to assist.

They want to search a larger area downstream and called for volunteers.

Members of the community who attended the meeting and volunteered their time have been helping the family continue their search the last few days. People have also been wading through the water and using kayaks to assist.

There have been no updates at this time.

The group is also organising a protest march for next week.