Police are treating the disappearance of Northland woman Bridget Simmonds as suspicious, with new information raising concerns that “something sinister” took place.
Police have been working to find the 43-year-old mother of two since she was reported missing on 6 March last year and they today carried out a series of search warrants.
Simmonds went missing after being dropped off by her mother at the Regent Countdown in Whangārei about midday on 23 February 2019.
This was the last confirmed sighting of her.
Investigators have made extensive enquiries, spoken to her friends, family and associates, sifted through hours of CCTV footage and issued multiple appeals to the public for information in a bid to find her.
Police recently received new information from the public, which led investigators to believe foul play may be involved.
Detective Senior Sergeant John Clayton said police spoke to a number of people and obtained considerable information.
“As a result, we have grave concerns that something sinister may have happened to Bridget,” he said.
The Parakao address
He said investigators had established that a woman believed to be Simmonds caught a taxi from Countdown to a property on Wilson Road, Parakao, the day she went missing.
Simmonds was known to have previously resided at the address.
Police are now focusing on that property and the wider Parakao area, and today conducted a number of search warrants at the property and others nearby.
The police dive squad was also involved in today’s search.
Police said they would like to hear from anyone who saw Simmonds at a property on Wilson Road on 23 February 2019.
They also wanted to speak to a member of the public who contacted Crimestoppers after seeing an appeal for information on 10 March.
Detective Senior Sergeant John Clayton said police were continuing to support Simmonds’ family during this distressing time.
“We believe someone knows what happened to her and we urge them to come forward with information for the sake of Bridget’s family,” he said.
Police would not give further information about today’s searches as the investigation was ongoing.