Source: New Zealand Police (District News)
Police are now treating the disappearance of missing Northland woman Bridget Simmonds as suspicious.
Police have been working tirelessly to find the 43-year-old mother of two since she was reported missing on March 6, 2019, and have today carried out a number of search warrants.
Bridget went missing after being dropped off by her mother at the Regent Countdown in Whangārei about midday on February 23 last year. This was the last confirmed sighting of her.
Investigators have made extensive enquiries, spoken to her friends, family and associates, sifted through hours of CCTV footage and issued multiple appeals to the public for information in a bid to find her.
Police have recently received new information from the public, which has led investigators to believe foul play may be involved.
Detective Senior Sergeant John Clayton says Police have spoken to a number of people in relation to Bridget’s disappearance and have obtained considerable information.
“As a result, we have grave concerns that something sinister may have happened to Bridget,” he says.
He says investigators have established a woman, believed to be Bridget, caught a taxi from Countdown to a property on Wilson Road, Parakao, the day she went missing.
Bridget is known to have previously resided at this address.
Police are now focusing on that property and the wider Parakao area, and have today conducted a number of search warrants at the property and others nearby.
The Dive Squad was also involved in today’s search.
Police would like to hear from anyone who saw Bridget at a property on Wilson Road on February 23, 2019.
Police are also particularly interested in speaking to a member of the public who contacted Crimestoppers after seeing our last appeal for information on March 10.
Police have now 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 and all calls to this number will be treated in confidence.
The phone line will be manned 8am-5pm Monday to Friday, and anyone who wants to call outside those hours can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Detective Senior Sergeant John Clayton says Police are continuing to support Bridget’s family during this distressing time.
“We believe someone knows what happened to her and we urge them to come forward with information for the sake of Bridget’s family,” he says.
Police are not in a position to go into specifics about today’s searches as the investigation is ongoing.
Adriana Weber/NZ Police