North Shore woman's disappearance baffles police

By Brendan Manning, Anna Leask

Police at a scene on Salisbury Rd in the Auckland suburb of Birkdale where personal belongings of missing women Blesilda Gotingco where found near her family home. Photo / Richard Robinson
Police at a scene on Salisbury Rd in the Auckland suburb of Birkdale where personal belongings of missing women Blesilda Gotingco where found near her family home. Photo / Richard Robinson

Appeals for information surrounding the disappearance of a missing Auckland mother-of-three are continuing, 24 hours after she was due home.

Blesilda Gotingco, known as Blessie, was last heard from at 6.21pm on Saturday when she spoke to her adult son to say she would be leaving her job at Tower Insurance in Auckland's CBD about 7pm to catch a bus home.

Her son then went to work, and Mrs Gotingco's adult daughter, who works late shifts, arrived home about 3.15am to find her mother was not home as expected.

She contacted her two brothers and they notified police around 3.30am.

Waitemata police Detective Senior Sergeant Stan Brown today said police had serious concerns for Mrs Gotingco, 56.

He said her daughter tracked Mrs Gotingco's mobile phone via its inbuilt locater system, and found it was polling a short distance from their home on Salisbury Rd, Birkdale.

She went along the road where she found it, along with some more of her mother's personal items, and immediately notified police about 5.40am.

"We obviously want to hear of any sightings of Blessie since 7pm last evening," Mr Brown said.

She is of medium to slim build, about 5'3" tall and has dark shoulder-length hair. She was last seen wearing a white top and and light coloured trousers."

The circumstances of Mrs Gotingco's disappearance and the location of some of her belongings gave rise to serious concerns for her safety, Mr Brown said.

Residents near the cordoned scene had been asked to search their properties for anything that may have been out of place.

3 News reported a neighbour saying she heard loud and frightened screams about 8pm, followed by the sound of a loud "low-slung" car driving away.

Mr Brown said it was unknown what had happened to Mrs Gotingco after she got off the bus.

"We actually don't know what happened after that. Blessie was a family woman and she was reported missing by one of her adult children who she lives with.

"They're very concerned about what's happening with Blessie at the moment."

Mrs Gotingco's personal belongings, including her shoes were later found in disarray, Mr Brown said.

"It actually may have been a tragic accident. She may have have been knocked down by a motorist going too fast.

"There could be a car somewhere in a carport or in a car shed, or something more sinister ... we don't know," Mr Brown said.

"We'd like people that have information to please come forward to the police.

"She could be laying injured somewhere, she may need the help of that phone call."

Police were considering whether Mrs Gotingco had crawled away somewhere or was lying injured under a house, "versus the worst-case scenario -- someone removed her in a vehicle, which is also a possibility."

Mrs Gotingco's children were "distraught" and were being supported by Victim Support, Mr Brown said. "They are beside themselves to say the least."

Mr Brown appealed for anyone with information regarding Mrs Gotingco to contact Waitemata CIB on 09 213 7890 [must dial the 09].

Anonymous information can go to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

- APNZ

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