Missing German woman's body found

BRITTA KAPPEL: Police searching for Kappel have found her body in Bottle Lake Forest Park.
BRITTA KAPPEL: Police searching for Kappel have found her body in Bottle Lake Forest Park.

The body found today in Bottle Lake Forest Park is that of missing German woman Britta Kappel, police say.

Detective Inspector Dave Long said there was no indication of any suspicious circumstances, and the death would be referred to the coroner.

Kappel, 30, was reported missing yesterday. Her body was found shortly after 10.30am today.

Friends said she went for a bike ride in the Burwood-North Beach-Bottle Lake area.

Search and rescue personnel searched the park overnight and continued their search this morning.

Search co-ordinator Sergeant Tony Tully said about 20 staff were involved, including police search and dog teams, along with Land Search and Rescue volunteers.

The teams had combed the forest on foot, in vehicles and on bikes.

Kappel had been working as a swimming instructor at Miniswim in North New Brighton.

Miniswim owner Chrissi Tukaki said Kappel had worked for her since arriving in New Zealand three months ago.

"I was in the corner dairy and muttering about not being able to get any staff and she said, 'I will work for you'. Half an hour later, she came to my house with her CV and I liked her so much I gave her a job."

Kappel was great with the children and brought "a whole heap of energy" to the job.

"Everyone loved her," Tukaki said.

"I was like her New Zealand mum. We were close."

Kappel liked biking, swimming and kite-surfing. She was living with her Kiwi partner, Alex, in Christchurch.

She was a qualified psychologist and had been looking for further work in Christchurch.

"She was a very clever and gorgeous lady. We'll all miss her a lot," Tukaki said.

Kappel's friend, Delphine Ducaruge, was involved in the search this morning.

"Thank you everyone for your help," she posted on Facebook.

"She's gone to heaven in which she believed very much."

The Press