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Search phase finishes for missing Wellington woman

Search phase finishes for missing Wellington woman

The latest search in the Rimutaka Forest Park has failed to find any sign of missing Wellington woman Kaye Stewart.

Detective Senior Sergeant Soni Malaulau, Lower Hutt CIB, says the search finished about 3pm today with as much ground as possible being covered.

"We can't be 100 percent certain that Kaye isn't somewhere in there but, without further information, we've realistically done everything physically possible to find her in the park."

Mrs Stewart, 62, failed to return from a short morning walk in the Catchpool area of the park on Monday, 13 June. The alarm was raised by her family when she didn't turn up to meet one of her daughters at 12.30pm in Wainuiomata.

"Kaye's family has spent hours looking for her. They've been with us at the base, have been part of the search effort and know this latest phase has finished," Detective Senior Sergeant Malaulau says.

Police appreciate the help from civilian Land Search and Rescue volunteers, Department of Conservation and Greater Wellington Regional Council staff and the New Zealand Army personnel throughout the search phase.

Detective Senior Sergeant Malaulau also acknowledged the huge effort from many police staff, particularly Search and Rescue officers, Dog Section, Dive Squad, Specialist Search Group and the investigation team.

"We all want to know what has happened to Kaye, and so does her family," Detective Senior Sergeant Malaulau says.

The inquiry team still has another couple of weeks of background work to complete. Police still want to hear from people who were in the Rimutaka Forest Park on Monday, 13 June or in the Wainuiomata Coast Road area. Sightings of Kaye, and information about a quad bike seen driving down the Forest Road towards the Coast Road about 1.45pm to 1.50pm on Monday 13 June, and a grey vehicle seen on the same stretch of road about 30 minutes later, are sought.

People who can help with information are asked to contact Lower Hutt CIB on telephone 04 560 2600.


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