Police are "keeping an open mind" as they seek to establish the identity of the woman whose bones were discovered in a North Shore reserve.
The discovery of human remains at Totaravale Reserve has sparked speculation that it could be Cissy Chen who has been missing from her Torbay home since November 5, 2012.
But police say they are unable to discuss whether the discovery is linked to any specific person until conclusive forensic results are available.
Forensic results are expected in several weeks, says Waitemata Police investigations manager Detective Inspector Bruce Scott says.
A lawnmowing contractor discovered the remains in a drain in the Glenfield reserve on Monday.
Further investigation by a specialist police search team resulted in more bones being found.
Earlier police land, sea and air searches have failed to find any trace of Ms Chen since she went missing in 2012.
Her disappearance was upgraded to a homicide inquiry two weeks after initial police searches.
Police have used specialist search teams to comb multiple locations and regularly appealed for the public's help finding her body.
Ms Chen, a 44-year-old accountant, was last seen leaving work at a small business in Glenfield.
She made a number of phone calls to family in China from her Waiau St home where she lived with partner Yun "Jack" Qing Liu.
Mr Liu reported her missing at about 9.30pm and told police she had not returned from a regular walk along Long Bay Beach.
But police do not believe Ms Chen went for a walk.
Ms Chen's brothers Philip and Peter Chen visited from China shortly after her disappearance.
Older brother Philip told media how desperate the family was for news of Cissy.
"It's in our Chinese culture to have the person, dead or alive, to be home for peace of mind. Otherwise we will never feel this is the end of one's life," he said.
Her family wrote a heartfelt plea for help on the anniversary of her death last year.
"In the past year, our hearts have hurt over and over whenever we think about Cissy."
- North Shore Times
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