The search for a convicted murderer has continued into its second day, as authorities refuse to provide clarity on how she escaped custody at Middlemore Hospital.

Katrina Epiha was last seen at 12.30am yesterday, running towards Gray Avenue in Mangere fleeing from Corrections staff who had transported her to the South Auckland hospital.

Epiha was sentenced to life imprisonment for fatally stabbing a 32-year-old mother at a party in Christchurch in 2017.

It is still unclear why the 22-year-old was at hospital - whether for treatment or to visit someone - and both the Department of Corrections and police today said it was up to the other authority to provide answers.

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Police were clear that none of their officers were present at the time Epiha escaped, and therefore corrections needed to explain why she was there and how she escaped.

However, a Corrections media communications staffer today said "we can't give you any more information, it's a police matter now".

They also added that Epiha was an Auckland woman.

During an alcohol-fuelled rage, Epiha fatally stabbed a 32-year-old woman at an Avonhead, Christchurch, property in August 2017. Photo: Facebook
During an alcohol-fuelled rage, Epiha fatally stabbed a 32-year-old woman at an Avonhead, Christchurch, property in August 2017. Photo: Facebook

It is unclear where Epiha had been imprisoned since her sentencing in May 2019.

Corrections Northern Region Commissioner Lynette Cave said yesterday Epiha was being returned to prison from hospital when she escaped.

Police have described Epiha as dangerous and not to be approached by members of the public.

She has large distinctive tattoos on her face and was last seen wearing a black long-sleeved top with a white shirt underneath, grey track pants and light pink running shoes.

"The prisoner is likely to be charged with escaping custody, which can result in a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment," Cave said.

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"A full operational review into the circumstances of the incident is being carried out."

Convicted killer Katrina Epiha is on the run in Auckland. Photo / Supplied
Convicted killer Katrina Epiha is on the run in Auckland. Photo / Supplied

Epiha stabbed Alicia Nathan during an alcohol-fuelled rage at an Avonhead property on August 5, 2017. She also threatened to kill another person at the property.

She was 18 at the time of the attack and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 10 years.

The victim's father, Paul Robinson, told the court he had video-called his daughter just 20 minutes before her death.

He says Epiha robbed Nathan's three-year-old son of laughs, cuddles and a future with his mother.

Anyone with information on Epiha's whereabouts is asked to call police on 111.

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