The brothers of a woman believed to have been murdered say they cannot rest until their sister is returned to them.
Auckland woman Bin 'Cissy' Chen, 44, from the North Shore suburb of Torbay, has not been seen since the evening of November 5, the day her partner reported her missing. Police upgraded the inquiry to a homicide investigation this week.
Cissy's brothers Philip and Peter flew out from Guangzhou, China, on Tuesday.
Philip, 48, paid tribute to his sister, and pleaded for anyone with information about her disappearance to come forward.
"It's so unexpected. Cissy was such a lovely lady," he said through an interpreter at a press conference in Mairangi Bay yesterday, which was also attended by Chinese media.
Philip said Cissy's younger brother Peter was only a toddler when their mother died in 1974. The three siblings had become very close.
"It's extremely hard for me to express my true feelings," Philip said. "She was only 44 years old."
Cissy's 77-year-old father, who lives in China, has not yet been told of her disappearance.
Cissy, an accountant, arrived in New Zealand 22 years ago as an international student and had no children.
Philip said they wouldn't be able to get closure until the body was returned. "Our Chinese culture is to have the person - dead or alive - to be home, to have piece of mind."
District crime manager Detective Inspector Bruce Scott said police were keeping an open mind. Searchers were out around a subdivision at Long Bay yesterday afternoon.
Local resident Daley Sandifer said he rarely saw Cissy or her partner leave the house. "My parents often go for a walk around the same time ... and just never see them."
Property records indicate Yun Qing Liu jointly owned the Torbay house with Cissy.
Anyone with information should call 08000 CISSY (08000 24779) or Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.