The two brothers of missing woman Cissy Chen, 44, are disappointed and upset there is still no sign of their sister more than a month since she disappeared from her Torbay home, police say.
Philip and Peter Chen flew to New Zealand immediately after hearing the news, but are due to return to China on Monday with no information on what may have happened to their sister.
A homicide investigation into Ms Chen's presumed death is continuing, but officer in charge of the case Detective Senior Sergeant Megan Goldie says extensive searches so far have proved unsuccessful.
"The brothers are disappointed we haven't been able to locate her.
"It has been very upsetting for them," she says.
Police have since extended their search to include areas outside of the North Shore.
Ms Goldie says search teams with dogs are also combing green belt and rural bush reserve land in the Long Bay region.
"There are a number of people on the ground. Browns Bay community police are doing area inquiries and distributing leaflets and we are still interviewing people."
The police Eagle helicopter used body heat imaging gear to search the immediate area and the launch Deodar carried out a sweep of the North Shore coastline in the days after Ms Chen's disappearance.
Ms Goldie says search teams are now working on eliminating potential places where her body may be found.
"We do not believe she is still alive. I think there is more confusion rather than fear in the community right now," she says.
Ms Chen, also known by her real name Bin, was last seen leaving her North Shore office where she worked as an accountant at about 5pm on November 5.
She was reported missing by her partner later that night.
He told police he became concerned when she did not come home from a regular walk along Long Bay beach.
Police upgraded the case to a homicide investigation two weeks later.
Ms Goldie says a man living at Ms Chen's home is assisting with their inquiry and a forensic examination has been carried out at the address.
She is not willing to reveal more, "as it might compromise the investigation".
Ms Chen's eldest brother Philip says he spoke to her just two days before she was reported missing.
Mr Chen says it is part of Chinese culture to have the body of a loved one returned for "peace of mind".
"Otherwise we will never feel this is the end of one's life."
He says Ms Chen has lived in New Zealand for 22 years after coming as an international student.
"It is so unexpected because she is so lovely, hardworking and frugal. This is too much to bear."
Ms Chen is described as of medium build and 1.56 metres tall.
Report information to the police on 0800 24779 or Crime Stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Are our classrooms becoming overcrowded?