The mother of missing woman Bridget Simmonds doubts she is alive but hopes police find answers so she can put an end to the recurring nightmare about her daughter's suspicious disappearance.
Police converged on a rural property 40km west of Whangārei on Wednesday after new information came to light which caused investigators to believe foul play was involved in the disappearance of the mother of two.
Late yesterday police announced they had reached a "critical point" in their investigations but due to "operational reasons" would not reveal what that meant.
Thanks to new information they received yesterday police were concentrating their efforts on searching a rural area at one of the properties that was searched on Wednesday.
Simmonds, who was 42 at the time, was last seen at Countdown on February 23 and was reported missing on March 6 after all communication with her family stopped.
Simmonds' mother, who did not want to be named for security reasons, said Simmonds disappearance was hard for all the family and it was like living a recurring nightmare.
"I'm hoping they find something ... I don't believe after all this time she is still alive, that's my feeling," she said.
"I hope police can get some answers because for me this is constant. It's like you are living it over and over every day and there's no end to it. It would be a relief to find her so this can come to an end and we can move forward."
Simmonds' 22-year-old daughter had recently asked if they could hold a memorial service but the family felt it was too soon and they did not have a clear idea of what had happened. Simmonds' also has a 17-year-old son who lived with his father.
And then police notified the family new information meant they would focus on a 20ha block of land on Wilson Rd, Parakao, where Simmonds had previously lived and was thought to have gone by taxi on the last day she was seen.
Her mother remembers the day she last saw her daughter.
Simmonds had gone to Kerikeri to stay with her mother, who said she had been recently assaulted, leaving her with broken ribs.
"She got into the wrong crowd before she disappeared."
But for four days they enjoyed each other's company.
"She could make me laugh until I cried," she remembered.
"Bridget was the one through my life to look after me when I was very sick. It was always her."
She recalled a time when Simmonds was only 5 years old and after getting her treat from the local dairy, a bag of lollies, she promptly handed over the lollies to a homeless man she spotted going through a rubbish bin.
"She was such a kind person. Everyone loved her and she was popular and had lots of friends. Sure she did a couple of stupid things in her life but Bridget didn't deserve to disappear like this."
She dropped Simmonds at Countdown supermarket in the Whangarei suburb of Regent on her way to Auckland for the weekend.
"I loaded her three backpacks into a trolley and said I could wait for her to do her shopping and drop her where she wanted to go. She told me she had a friend who was going to do that so I carried on to Auckland."
She has not been to the Parakao property and does not want to but just hopes police find evidence that will end her nightmare.
Detective Senior Sergeant John Clayton said since she was reported missing police had been working tirelessly to find Simmonds and on Wednesday had carried out a number of searches under warrants.
Police also made an appeal to anyone who saw Simmonds at a property on Wilson Rd on February 23, 2019, to contact them.
They were particularly interested in speaking to a member of the public who contacted Crimestoppers after seeing the last appeal for information on March 10.
Police have made a direct phone line available for people to call with information that may help the case.
Anyone with information is urged to call 09 430 4555. All calls will be treated in confidence.
The phone line will be manned 8am-5pm Monday to Friday, and anyone who calls outside those hours can phone Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.