Police suspend active searches for missing Westport mother Leanne Ryall

By Laura Mills

The bank accounts of  missing Westport mother Leanne Ryall have not been touched since she left her Domett St home on foot on Friday morning, police said today. Photo / NZ Police
The bank accounts of missing Westport mother Leanne Ryall have not been touched since she left her Domett St home on foot on Friday morning, police said today. Photo / NZ Police

Police are still inquiring into the disappearance of Westport mother Leanne Ryall, but have suspended active searches.

The 50-year-old left her Domett Street home on foot on Friday morning and her cellphone has since been turned off.

Extensive searches in Westport have involved police, search and rescue, fire brigade and volunteers.

Ryall had her handbag with her, but her bank accounts have not been touched, police said today.

Area prevention manager acting senior sergeant Paul Watson said they had a lot of information which Westport police were now following up.

Asked if they now held grave fears for her safety, Watson said when Ryall left home she was not prepared for a stay away from home.

"That's always a concern from the outset."

They had hoped she just wanted 'time out' and had been staying with a friend.
"But with the interest now, it appears not be the case," Watson said.

He said yesterday police had concerns for her health.

Ryall lived with a partner and children and worked at the St John Community Shop, in Westport.

The Westport News reported the now vacant Larsens Hotel, where Leanne Ryall grew up, had been searched three times. Photo / NZ Police
The Westport News reported the now vacant Larsens Hotel, where Leanne Ryall grew up, had been searched three times. Photo / NZ Police

The Westport News reported the now vacant Larsens Hotel, where Ryall she grew up, had been searched three times.

Searchers also combed Buller High School, Patterson Park racecourse, the floating basin, speedway, Shingle Beach and North Beach.

Further south they had searched Percy's Bush and the Westport Domain. A kayaker paddled the floating basin and as far up the Buller River as the Esplanade and a drone flew over a wide area.

Ryall is described as five foot three inches (1.6m) tall, of solid build, with short, wavy red/brown hair. It is not known what she was wearing when she left home. Anyone with information was urged to phone Westport police immediately on 789 7339.

- Greymouth Star

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