A homicide probe has been launched after missing West Coast mother-of-three Barbara Quinn was found dead today.

Quinn, 41, was reported missing yesterday evening after reportedly going home for lunch.

She was found in a car in rural Greymouth about 2.30pm today.

Police found a man nearby with moderate injuries. He has been taken to Grey Base Hospital in Greymouth where he remains under police guard tonight.

Advertisement

"Police held serious concerns for Ms Quinn's safety and this is the worst possible outcome," Detective Senior Sergeant Kirsten Norton says.

"A homicide inquiry is now under way and we are working to establish what exactly has occurred.

"However, we believe this to be an isolated incident and are not looking for anyone else in relation to the matter."

She added: "Our thoughts are with Ms Quinn's family at this extremely difficult time.

"They've lost a truly loved and valued member of their family and we urge media to respect their privacy while they begin the process of confronting this loss."

Norton earlier said they had "serious concerns" for the mother-of-three and appealed for urgent sightings. They were also searching for her white Mazda Axella hatchback.

Officers are also looking for her white Mazda Axella hatchback, registration KYC486 which is also missing. Photo / Supplied
Officers are also looking for her white Mazda Axella hatchback, registration KYC486 which is also missing. Photo / Supplied

Her disappearance was out of character, according to friends who were worried all day today while a large police operation was under way.

Locals believe that Quinn, who works in an office locally, went home from work around lunchtime yesterday and hadn't been seen since.

Advertisement

Her social media page appears to be down.

Quinn recently moved from her Power Rd property in the Greymouth suburb of Karoro to Shakespeare St, it's understood.

Two police cars have been seen outside the Shakespeare St house today. Another house in Cobden was also the subject of intense police activity.

Quinn is well-known in the tight-knit West Coast town as a quiet, kind, and hard-working woman.