The cellphone of missing Auckland man Lucas Cochrane was active for an hour after he was last seen.
Cochrane, 19, has been missing since Saturday but the family and searchers are still holding out hope that he's alive.
But the strain is starting to show in eyes of his father Dave, who was unaware his son was missing until Sunday morning.
Cochrane was in Whitianga with a friend for the weekend, attending a remembrance service for his friend's father at the Whitianga Fire Station.
He was last seen leaving about 10.30pm and Cochrane Snr says cellphone towers continued to pick up his phone for another hour before it stopped.
"It seems that he came out of the fire station about 10.30pm, his phone was active until 11.30pm from a local repeater station so that tends to indicate he has been in the area until at least 11.30pm.
Thereafter we just don't know ..."
He hasn't been seen or heard of since, and that's unusual for the youngster.
"If he happened to run out of phone credit or money or whatever he puts his hand up and makes contact. So this, for him to just suddenly disappear is totally out of character."
Cochrane Snr said he and his partner Debbie Adamson and Luke's younger brother Sean together with other family and friends says the search will continue today.
"As it stands at the moment we are covering off the ground in the local vicinity and we have a bach at Matarangi and we have been over there four times in the past 24 hours that I have been in town.
"You hear about this sort of thing on the news and it's one of those things that you feel for the family, and well, it's tough. Real tough."