Inquest over missing student, eight years on

By Kathryn Powley

Iraena Asher. Photo / Supplied
Iraena Asher. Photo / Supplied

Almost eight years after Iraena Asher disappeared at Piha, an inquest will be held.

The statuesque 25-year-old university student and model's disappearance on October 11, 2004, remains unsolved.

At the time police said there was a high probability Asher had wandered into the surf and drowned in the early hours of that morning. Foul play was also considered but police ruled out suicide.

The night Asher disappeared she had been socialising at a Piha house with friends. She left the address after calling 111, saying she felt scared and was being pressured for sex.

Police told her they were sending a taxi but the taxi went to Paihia Rd in Onehunga, 35km away.

She started walking and was picked up by Piha local Julia Woodhouse, who took her home and gave her a hot shower and a cup of tea but Asher left the house abruptly at 1.10am.

She was apparently naked when last seen by a couple walking their dog about 2am. They saw her march down the road towards the beach.

Woodhouse, who will give evidence at the inquest, told the Herald on Sunday she could recount the events of that tragic night "minute by minute".

The hearing begins in Auckland on July 17.

- Herald on Sunday

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