Police have called off a land search for a woman last seen in Piha, west of Auckland, and will now focus on the sea.
The search began after the woman’s car parked and unlocked in Mercer Bay some time last night.
The events were similar to that of missing, presumed drowned, woman Iraena Asher who disappeared in the same area in 2004.
Search co-ordinator sergeant Dene Duthie said search teams remained available in case further information came to hand, but said at this stage it seemed likely the woman had somehow ended up in the water.
Extensive land and air searches from early this morning failed to locate any sign of the woman.
Searchers combed the coastline until nightfall and will resume looking for the woman tomorrow.
Members of the woman's family have been with police during the day.
Police want to speak to a couple who reported seeing the woman about 7.15pm yesterday as she walked down the Mercer Bay loop track.
No other details were available at this stage.
- © Fairfax NZ News