Woman missing, foul play suspected

SIMON DAY
Last updated 20:55 25/05/2014
Blesilda Gotingco
Supplied
MISSING: Blesilda Gotingco.

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Police have set up a free call number in a bid for help finding an Auckland woman who has ''disappeared''.

They have no leads on the disappearance of Blesilda Gotingco, (also known as Blessie), 56, who went missing last night close to her Auckland home.

There are serious concerns for the woman after she failed to return from work on Saturday night and items of her personal belongings were found on the street near her home in Birkdale.

Gotingco's daughter found her mobile phone and her shoes on the grassy verge a short distance from their home on Salisbury Road, by tracking the phone's GPS after she discovered her mother had not returned when she finished work at 315am.

The items were spread out in "disarray" across the berm, but there was no sign of a struggle, according to police.

The free call number is 0508 LYNSEY or 0508 596 739.

"We don't know what happened. To us it is the fear of the unknown. It could have been a tragic accident. She may have been knocked down by a motorist going too fast. It could be something more sinister. We don't know," said Detective Senior Sergeant Stan Brown.

Police believe Gotingco took the bus home from her work at Tower Insurance Ltd on Fanshawe St in the CBD, however, they are unsure of which bus she took.

She was last heard from at 6.21pm yesterday when she spoke to her son to say she was leaving work at 7pm and would catch a bus back to the North Shore.

The buses are believed to not have CCTV and police have not yet spoken to the drivers.

"We want to hear from passengers who travelled on those buses - either a number 973 or 974 bus - last night, at any point along its route from Fanshawe St to Birkdale Road. We obviously want to hear of any sightings of Blessie since 7pm last evening," Brown said.

There were large gaps in the police inquiry and they had not heard from anyone who had seen or heard Gotingco or anything suspicious in the area.

"She walks past here on a very regular basis on her way home from work. There is a possibility that she was here around 8pm. That is purely as a guess," Brown said.

Neighbours spoken to said they had not heard anything last night during the times Gotingco was believed to have been walking home.

"I don't think anyone has reported hearing anything," said Ryan Aldridge, 21, who has lived on the street for 20 years.

"It is a bit worrying I guess. It's usually a nice place," he said.

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The family are distraught and Gotingco's husband who is in the Philippines has been spoken to and is making arrangements to return to New Zealand, police said.

Gotingco is Filipino, of medium to slim build, about 5'3" tall (162cm) and has dark shoulder-length hair. She was last seen wearing a white top and and light-coloured trousers.

Anyone with information about Blesilda Gotingco should call either 0800 596 739 or Waitemata CIB directly on (09) 213 7890.

- Stuff

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