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Man charged with murder after body of missing woman found in Northland

Gaelene Bright hasn’t been seen since the beginning of May.

NZ Police

Gaelene Bright hasn’t been seen since the beginning of May.

A 65-year-old man has been arrested and charged with murder after a body was found in the search for a missing woman in Northland.

The discovery was made on Tuesday afternoon in Waipoua Forest, near State Highway 12, at Waimamaku, police said.

The body is believed to be that of missing Northland woman, Gaelene Bright, who was last spoken to at her home, in the early hours of May 1.

Police had been searching the area of Waimamaku Region and Waipoua Forest in Northland for the past five days. (File photo)

Jason Dorday/Stuff

Police had been searching the area of Waimamaku Region and Waipoua Forest in Northland for the past five days. (File photo)

“Our thoughts and condolences are with Ms Bright’s family during this extremely difficult time,” said Acting Detective Inspector Kevan Verry.

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Police had been searching the area of Waimamaku Region and Waipoua Forest in Northland for the past five days, and the scene examination was still ongoing, police said.

A scene examination at the Bright’s home is underway.

Verry said police “appreciate the patience of all those in the area”.

“We will not be in a position to release any further details of the victim until formal identification takes place.”

Police issued an appeal for sightings of Gaelene Bright's Holden Rodeo last week.

NZ POLICE/Supplied

Police issued an appeal for sightings of Gaelene Bright’s Holden Rodeo last week.

Police said the 65-year-old man was located and interviewed on Tuesday afternoon, and has since been charged with murder.

He will appear at the Hastings District Court on May 19.

Police said they will not be seeking anyone else in relation to the death.

Police are still making enquiries into the movements of Bright’s vehicle, a white 2000 Holden Rodeo 4×4 with the registration number YW7634, between Northland and Te Kuiti on May 3 and 4.

Anyone who has seen this vehicle or has any information regarding it is asked to call police on 105 quoting file number 220511/2799 or Operation Bright.

Information can also be passed on anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

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