Suffolk: Family still waiting for news of man missing in New Zealand earthquake

THE family of a Suffolk man missing following the New Zealand earthquake were still enduring an agonising wait yesterday to hear if he is dead or alive.

There has been no news of Phil Coppeard, originally from Moulton near Newmarket, since the devastating earthquake struck Christchurch last week.

Mr Coppeard, 41, had only moved there with his wife Suzanne Craig last November.

The life-long Ipswich Town supporter had been on his way to Canterbury University for what would have been the second day of his Masters course in economics when the earthquake hit at 12.51pm last Tuesday New Zealand time.

He was last seen boarding a bus that travels through the centre of the city, but despite major efforts by his wife and friends in New Zealand no-one has been able to reach him since then.

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More than 150 people are known to have died in the magnitude 6.3 tremor and many are still missing.

Speaking yesterday, Mr Coppeard’s sister Jo Morley, who lives in Bury St Edmunds, said the family were still clinging onto hope as they waited for news.

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She said: “Until we hear anything we cannot do anything, really.”

She added: “Everything is pretty much on hold, really. We have been in contact with close family and friends, but that’s all there is, really.

“We are not by any means the only people [affected].”

She said the family were not in a good place, but they were all receiving a lot of support.

“Suzanne is getting a lot of support. We are getting a lot of support from family and friends and speaking to her regularly.

“Until there’s anything to say we won’t hear from anybody official.”

She said her parents Barry and Barbara Coppeard, who live in Bury St Edmunds, were bearing up as well as they could.

Mr Coppeard, a chartered accountant, attended St Felix Middle School and Newmarket Upper School before moving to study history and economics at Manchester University.

He met Suzanne, whom he married in 2007, while living in London and the pair then moved to Dubai before settling in her home country of New Zealand.

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