Police are hopeful the discovery of human bones in a North Shore reserve could solve the murder of Auckland woman Cissy Chen.
Ms Chen, 44, has been missing since November 2012 when she left her Torbay home. Police believe she has been murdered and have previously said they believe her body may be buried in a green area, a park, reserve or waterway near her home.
A contractor mowing the lawns made the grisly discovery at the Totaravale Reserve about 12.30pm. Officers from the North Shore CIB secured the scene while a pathologist confirmed the bones were human.
A police source yesterday told the Herald pieces of clothing were found alongside the bones - and based on that clothing it was thought the remains belonged to a female. An autopsy will be held in Auckland this morning in which police hope to confirm the gender.
The source said the remains, a ribcage and skull, appeared to have washed up in the drain from a nearby stream rather than being dumped there directly. The bones were to be removed last night.
Last year Detective Inspector Bruce Scott told the Herald they believed Ms Chen was killed at or near her property. Despite an extensive search, which included parks, waterways and building sites, no trace of Ms Chen was found.
"That led us to believe that she hadn't been out walking. Nobody had seen her. It was a night that lots of people were out and about, but no one saw her that night."
Cissy Chen was last seen leaving the accountancy firm where she worked on November 5, 2012. She drove to her home in Torbay on Auckland's North Shore, went inside and wasn't seen again.
Her partner, Yun Liu, known as Jack, reported her missing at 9.30 that night, saying she had left the house to go walking at 5.30pm and had not returned.
He usually walked with her, but told police he had injured his leg so had stayed home.