Police have made a another appeal for a 45-year-old Kaitaia woman who has officially been missing for more than 20 months to come forward and let them and her family know where she is.

Traceza Urlich was hitchhiking when she disappeared after catching rides in the Awanui and Cable Bay areas. The last confirmed sighting of her was in Whangārei on February 4, 2018.

Kaitaia's Detective Sergeant Richard Garton appealed directly to Ms Urlich to come forward when the case featured on TV show Police Ten 7 on Thursday.

"Traceza, if you are watching, we would really like you to get in touch with us so we can let your family know you are okay," he said, adding that despite the passage of time, police had not given up hope.

Advertisement

"She lives a bit of a transient lifestyle, but she has her roots here, and she has always come home in the past," Mr Garton said.

"It's not unusual for her to not have a cellphone, but it is unusual for her not to access her bank accounts."

Ms Urlich's son Clem also appeared on the programme, asking his mother to make contact. She had been known to hitchhike, he said, but the family had become worried when she did not turn up for scheduled appointments in Kaitaia.

"She did that for a long period of time, hitchhiking around," he said.

"Family would see her on the road and pick her up and make sure she was all right and got her to her destination."

Her disappearance had baffled her family, who missed her dearly. She was not someone who would go bush and live off the grid, and her family had become concerned for her safety.

"I just want to find out what happened to her and get some closure I suppose, for the family and for myself as well," Mr Urlich said.

"She was different, and I think if anyone had picked her up they would know or remember her."

Advertisement

Ms Urlich had been living in a rental property, and was receiving support from Te Mana Oranga Trust in Kaitaia, an organisation that provides adult community support services for those with mental health and addiction problems.

Mr Garton said Ms Urlich left her flat in Matthews, Kaitaia, at about 8am on February 4, 2018. Her flatmate had expected her to return, because she had appointments that she normally would not miss.

Police had established that she had hitchhiked to Awanui, then travelled south on State Highway 10. She was given a ride at Cooper's Beach, and was dropped off at Mangonui. The next confirmed sighting was in Kawakawa, where she was picked up and taken to a bus stop in Whangārei at 5pm. She had not been seen since.

In April 2018, family member Cheryl Rush said she had all but lost hope that her cousin would be found alive. If her bank account had not been touched, she said, she would have no doubt that Ms Urlich was dead.

Ms Rush said she had arrived at her home in Kaeo on February 4. She had a shower, changed her clothes, had something to eat and left, heading south. That was the last her family had seen or heard of her.

It was not like her not to keep in regular contact, she said. She lived on her benefit week by week, so failing to draw money from her bank account would be a bad sign.

"I think she got into the wrong car," Ms Rush said, adding that she had been told that a woman's body had been found in the Ahipara gumfields, but doubted that was true. The police confirmed there had been no such find.

Described in 2018 by Acting Senior Sergeant Sarah Wihongi as "a friendly soul, and quite distinctive," when last seen she was wearing a bright yellow jacket and black three-quarter-length pants.

Anyone with any information is urged to contact the Kaitaia police station on (09) 408-6500, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555-111.