Police still believe Cissy Chen was killed at her home despite her bones being found in a creek on Auckland's North Shore.
The creek, which runs along the southern boundary of Totaravale Reserve, was blessed this morning by a local kaumatua.
Chen has been missing since Guy Fawkes night 2012, with her husband, Yun "Jack" Qing Liu, saying that police think he is the killer but denying the allegation.
Liu, wearing fingerless gloves and aviator sunglasses, was at the blessing by Ngati Whatua kaumatua Rev John Marsden this morning. He declined to speak to media, citing a lack of English.
Detective Inspector Bruce Scott said Chen's skull and ribcage were found against a grate at the eastern end of the creek. She was identified through forensic dentistry.
The rest of her skeleton was found upstream, next to a property across the road.
The stream is fed by a pond in nearby Rewi Alley Reserve and meanders through Trias Reserve before crossing under Totaravale Drive into Totaravale Reserve.
Scott said he did not want to discuss where police believed the body entered the waterway.
However, a resident backing on to Trias Reserve said she had seen teams of police combing the area after the bones were found last week.
Scott said police believed Chen had been killed at home, but her body had been in the area it was found for the entire 17 months since.
Asked if husband Jack was a suspect, Scott declined to comment.
Chen, a 44-year-old accountant, disappeared after leaving her Torbay home on November 5, 2012.
Chen was last seen leaving work in Glenfield.
She made phone calls to family in China from her Waiau St home where she lived with Liu, an 11-kilometre drive from where her skeleton was found.
Liu reported her missing about 9.30pm and told police she had not returned from a regular walk along Long Bay Beach.
Friends and workmates from NorthStar building attended the blessing.
Workmate Ian Bulkeley said finding Chen had opened a lot of old wounds but "to have Cissy found means a lot to us".
Chen was a lovely lady, very caring and kind with "a very dry sense of humour", he said.
About the killer, Bulkeley said they wanted the person "found and put away for a very long time".
One of Chen's friends at the blessing was an old schoolmate from Guangzhou in China.
Bernny Zeng said he bumped into Chen at the Ellerslie Flower Show and they had recognised each other from school in China when they were 14 and 15.
"The second time I heard of her was in the newspaper," he said.
"I feel very guilty that I lost contact with her. I came to say sorry."
Zeng said he could not believe that Chen had been killed.
"I hope the truth comes out soon."
Police asked that anyone in the area who had seen, heard or smelled anything unusual in the past months to contact them.