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Remains found on Takapuna Beach identified

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 12/04/2017

The man whose remains were found on a popular North Shore beach has been named as a 26-year-old missing since last week.

Police have identified Stephen Kapel as the person whose body was found at Auckland's Takapuna Beach on Tuesday.

The death has been referred to the coroner.

Mr Kapel was reported missing from Takapuna last Wednesday.

On the weekend Police appealed for sightings, saying he had an "affinity to the water and is known to spend hours at or near North Shore beaches or Lake Pupuke".

The disappearance was out of character, they said.

In a statement, Mr Kapel's family said they were heartbroken and devastated by the loss of a " loving, warm and gentle soul".

"Life has been full of many challenges for Stephen after being diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder and we are in admiration of how he overcame many of the situations he was faced with," they said.

"There are no words to express how much we will miss our boy."

They said Mr Kapel's four passions included swimming, music, sport and gaming and that he played indoor netball and soccer.

Police earlier said the remains, believed to have been in the water for a week, were found by a member of the public near Hauraki Road, in Takapuna, early on Tuesday morning, police say.

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