Anna Leask

Anna Leask is a police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Sightings lead police to broaden search

Investigators have received reports that Rae Portman was seen in the Bay of Plenty area in June. Photo / Supplied
Investigators have received reports that Rae Portman was seen in the Bay of Plenty area in June. Photo / Supplied

Police have broadened their search for Rae Portman after reported sightings in the Bay of Plenty.

Ms Portman, 33, was last seen on June 20 at an Auckland motel and there are grave fears for her safety. Neither her bank account nor her cellphone has been used.

Police yesterday said they had received a number of calls reporting June sightings of Ms Portman near Waihi and Tauranga.

Ms Portman's mother reported her missing on July 2. Police later revealed she had not checked out of the motel and her belongings were still there.

Ms Portman, also known as Bok, was a known drug user and it emerged that she had been assaulted at a Manurewa property on June 8. A 30-year-old woman has been charged in relation to the incident but police said it was not connected to her disappearance.

Ms Portman's friends were pleading for anyone with information to come forward. Many have posted messages on a Facebook page set up to help the police investigation.

"Somebody knows! Speak up. Rae is a daughter and friend. Bring home Bok," Candice Nicholls wrote.

Another friend made an emotional appeal: "Imagine if this was your daughter, your sister or your friend. Just stop for one second and imagine how it feels ... her family and friends need to know, whatever it is."

Others were concerned that because of the time between the last sighting of Ms Portman and when she was reported missing, people may not remember important information.

"I'm angry that this wasn't acted on sooner by everyone ... now I fear the worst that I'll never see Rae again and that breaks my heart," a woman said.

CAN YOU HELP?

Contact police on 0800 723 767, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit the Where is Rae (Bok) Portman Facebook page.

- NZ Herald

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