Runaway contacts police

By David Fisher

Westpac runaway Kara Hurring has contacted the detective in charge of trying to bring her and her daughter back from China.

Hurring left the country a year ago with daughter Leena, 9, and partner Leo Gao after a banking error credited their account with a $10 million overdraft.

The couple were long gone by the time Westpac spotted the error. Gao left behind his struggling service station business and debts on property investments.

But Hurring has phoned and emailed Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Loper. "She had taken it upon herself to email me and I then received a phone call," said Loper.

Loper would not comment on speculation Gao and Hurring had separated, leaving the Blenheim woman and her daughter alone in a country she had never visited before last year.

"She's a long way from home. I gleaned that she was quite happy with her and her daughter's circumstances at the time."

Loper would not disclose the full content of the conversation, which took place just before Christmas.

He said there had been a fresh bid for help from Chinese authorities after an unsuccessful application last year.

Details released through the Official Information Act show Crown legal staff have spent 28 hours on the case this year.

Meanwhile, Gao's former service station has been sold and is being turned into a fish and chip shop.

One person involved in the case said a Chinese takeaway might be more appropriate.

- Herald on Sunday

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