Auckland (New Zealand), Oct.15 (ANI): Twenty-three-year-old Andhra-origin Srikanth Rayadurgam was training to be a chef and wanted to cook a feast for family and friends for his first Diwali celebrations in New Zealand this weekend, but with him declared missing for the last fortnight, his family is now just praying for his safe return.
"This is supposed to be our biggest Diwali celebrations because it is Srikanth's first since he came here. We are praying for a miracle, and that the light will bring him back to us," the New Zealand Herald quoted Srikanth's brother-in-law Nagesh Kakanoor, as saying.
Kakanoor said celebrations have been put on hold as they search for Srikanth, an Auckland University of Technology hospitality student who has not been seen since October 1.
This morning, police will also resume their search, combing beaches and shoreline west of the Harbour Bridge - near where his wallet was found - to Pt Chevalier.
From about 8 p.m., they will also canvass the K Road area, where his mobile phone was used the night he vanished.
Since he arrived in February on a student permit, Srikanth, who Kakanoor said was "cheerful, caring and polite", had been staying with his sister Padma Priya and her family in Mt Albert.
"It is completely out of character him going anywhere without telling the family, because he would even ask me if it's all right to go across the road to meet friends," he said.
On Tuesday, Kakanoor found a scarf and a Pizza Hut Glenfield nametag belonging to Srikanth washed up on the rocks near Westhaven Marina, adding to his belief that there was "foul play". The student's wallet, with money missing, and other personal items was found near the Marina on October 2.
"We are finding bits and pieces of items scattered all over the place. I believe he was running away from someone," Kakanoor said. (ANI)