Cemetery cordoned off in search for missing woman

KATASHA MCCULLOUGH
Last updated 22:22 26/05/2014
SEAN WILLIS/Stuff.co.nz

Police release images of two key items of interest as the search for Blesilda 'Blessie' Gotingco continues.

Missing Ak woman's st
Sarah Argyle/ FAIRFAX
MISSING: Blesilda Gotingco never made it back to her Salisbury Road home after work.
Blesilda Gotingco
Supplied
MISSING: Blesilda Gotingco.

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Police investigating the disappearance of Auckland woman Blesilda Gotingco have cordoned off a cemetery tonight.

They described the site as an "area of interest", and said the cordon will remain in place overnight, with a scene examination resuming at first light tomorrow.

Gotingco, 56, also known as Blessie, has not been seen since Saturday evening.

The cemetery is on Eskdale Road.

Detective Senior Sergeant Stan Brown said earlier today that police were looking for reading glasses and a distinctive Omega watch with a mother of pearl face surrounded by diamonds.

Brown said a team of more than 30 police were working on finding Gotingco.

"Our ideas are limitless but we hope she's alive out there and someone knows where she is," he said.

Brown said Gotingco's family was "very, very distraught". Her husband was due back from the Philippines tomorrow.

Gotingco had planned to catch a bus from Auckland city on Saturday, after finishing work at 7pm, at Tower Insurance in Fanshawe St in downtown Auckland, to her home on the North Shore.

She spoke to her adult son at 6.21pm.

Her daughter arrived home from work about 3.15am yesterday and noticed her mother was not there.

Gotingco's mobile phone and shoes were found early yesterday about 400 metres from the bus stop in Birkdale, along the route to her Salisbury Rd home.

Neighbours said they heard a high-pitched scream followed by a car driving off at the site where her belongings were found.

Police said they had several different lots of information relating to screams, but they were all from different times in the evening.

Brown said there were no signs of violence at the site where Gotingco's belongings were found and there was no significant suspicious activity in the area on Saturday night.

Police had interviewed Birkenhead Transport bus drivers and had two more to speak to. They were collecting CCTV footage from Auckland city as well from businesses along the bus route.

They were also trying to trace Gotingco's movements through a registered HOP prepaid card on a 973 or 974 Birkenhead Transport bus.

Investigators especially wanted to hear from anyone travelling on those buses.

There were reports of Gotingco being seen on a bus but Brown said she was a regular user of the service and police were "trying to tighten down, in relation to was it the Saturday night that they actually saw her?".

Brown said police had received more than 20 calls to a phone number set up for the investigation, known as "Operation Lynsey", but still did not know what happened to Gotingco.

"Someone out there knows what happened and we want that person or an associate of that person to please call the police," he said. 

Gotingco, who was born in the Philippines, is of medium-to-slim build, about 1.62 metres tall and has dark shoulder-length hair. She was last seen wearing a white top and light-coloured trousers. 

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Dozens of friends and strangers have used Facebook to appeal for information on Gotingco, with a range of pages set up including, Help find Blessie Bring Home Blesilda Gotingco  and Help us find Blesilda Gotingco .

- Stuff

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