Divers search for missing Auckland woman

KIRSTY JOHNSTON
Last updated 14:21 11/12/2012
Bin
GRAHAME COX/Fairfax NZ

SEARCH WIDENS: Police divers search in a stream near Long Bay for missing woman Cissy Chen.

Bin
MISSING: Bin "Cissy" Chen.

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Police divers are searching the North Shore today as the hunt continues for the body of Auckland woman Cissy Chen.

The North Shore accountant disappeared five weeks ago on Guy Fawkes night. Police believe she is dead and have launched a homicide investigation.

Acting Detective Inspector Stan Brown said the national police dive squad would search "a number of areas" on the North Shore for her body.

"The Operation Waiau investigation team remain committed to locating Ms Chen so that she can be returned to her family," Brown said.

"We encourage any member of the public who has any information that may lead to her discovery to contact us urgently."

The divers are believed to have been asked to search a pond on a subdivision near where the 44-year-old lived, which has already been extensively searched by police and cadaver dogs.

Chen was last seen when she left work about 5pm on November 5 and was reported missing to police by her partner that same night.

He told police he became worried after she did not return from a regular walk along Long Bay beach, near her home in the suburb of Torbay.

After two weeks of searching, police said they believed Chen was dead and upgraded the inquiry to a homicide investigation.

Police have not revealed why police think Chen is no longer alive, other than saying there have been no sightings of her since she disappeared. No-one has been arrested in the case, but a man who lived at Chen's house was assisting police with their investigation.

They are continuing to talk to associates and family members of Chen and her partner.

Police have conducted sea, air and land searches for the missing woman. They have said her body could be in a green belt or bush area, and it may lie further afield than the North Shore.

There were still 20 officers working on the case, plus the search team as required.

Last month, Chen's two brothers flew to New Zealand from China to make a public plea for information.

"We are desperate to find where Cissy is, or what happened to her, whether she is dead or alive," Philip Chen said.

"It's so unexpected because she is so lovely, hardworking, and frugal. This is too much to bear."

Chen, whose real name is Bin, had been in New Zealand for 22 years, after moving here as an international student.

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