Missing woman’s cell phone found near Christchurch’s Southern Motorway

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Jul 21, 2023 |

Police have held a press conference appealing for information about missing Christchurch real estate agent Yanfei Bao.

It’s been revealed her cell phone was found dumped on the Southern Motorway, near Blakes Road.

Detective Inspector Nicola Reeves said Bao’s disappearance is still unexplained and a missing person investigation remains ongoing.

She was last seen conducting her business as a real estate agent on Vickerys Road in Wigram at 10:30am.

Since then, she failed to pick up her daughter from after school care and her car, a silver Nissan Dualis, has been located nearby the area she was last seen on Iroquois Place. 

Reeves said police have searched a number of areas and located one of of her cell phones on the Southern Motorway, but she remains missing.

Reeves said police have found other items while searching for Bao, but were unsure of their relevance to the case.

“We’re not at the point of discussing whether we have subjects or persons of interest because we very much want the focus on Ms Bao.

“We are now interested to hear from any members of the public who might have been travelling on the motorway on Wednesday, and notice anything out of the ordinary.

Police searching Harvard Park in Wigram on Thursday afternoon Photo: Chris Lynch


Anyone with any piece of information no matter how small is encouraged to contact the police immediately.”

Detective Inspector Nicola Reeves said Bao’s disappearance is still unexplained and a missing person investigation remains ongoing.

Reeves said police had been conducting door to door inquiries in the area where she was last seen.

“If you live in that area, and have not spoken with police, but have access to CCTV footage of the street area, police would like to hear from you.

Police have searched a number of areas and have located one Yanfei Bao’s cell phones on Southern Motorway, near Blakes Road.

“I would like to reiterate that police and her family are deeply concerned for her safety.

“This is very out of character and her loved ones are desperate to hear from her and know that she is safe.”

“I really want to stress that we are still dealing with the missing person investigation.  

Reeve said “they would like nothing more for her to come home safely.”

Her family, daughter and husband were being supported by family and friends and police.

“The longer that Miss Bao was missing, obviously our concern grows.”

Last photos of Yanfei Bao captured on her driveway in Avonhead photos: NZ police

“The fact that she does no longer have her cell phone is of great concern for us and hence the reason for today is to update the public about that particular location and continue to seek the public’s assistance of anything that they may have seen in that area.”

Reeves said “we have a big team working on the case. We’ve worked really hard and it has led us to areas of interest throughout the investigation so far.

Vehicle similar to Yanfei Bao’s car. Photo: NZ police

“We’re obviously now looking near that Blakes Road area near the Southern Motorway.

The investigation team includes a search team, and a total of  40 officers were working on the case.


Bao’s close friend, who Chris Lynch Media has agreed not to name, said there was no proper timeline regarding her disappearance, and friends and family were becoming increasingly frustrated.

“The situation is very strange, as she doesn’t like leaving her daughter at all. She cares for her a lot.

“Every time I go to her house, and watch her play with her daughter,  you can tell straight away she means everything to her. I don’t think she just took off somewhere”

The friend said what was strange was the area where police found her car.

Yanfei Bao’s silver Nissan Dualis, registration PKT556, was found in Iroquois Place, Wigram

“The street in Wigram is not the sort of place where you’d go door knocking to encourage people to sell houses.

“It seems more like an over 60s environment to me. It’s not exactly a good selling area. It doesn’t make any sense” the friend said.

“Police should step up and ask harder questions.”

The friend said they visited the Harcourts office in Wigram, where Bao worked, to ask more questions,  but no one noticed anything out of the unusual.

“Obviously if she was upset in the morning, someone would have noticed and asked her if she was ok.”

The friend said Yanfei Bao was a very happy person.

“She’s one of the happiest people I have ever met. She was always looking forward to learning and trying new things 

“She was rising through the ranks fast at Harcourts and was doing really well.

The following statement is from Ms Bao’s Husband

My family and I are deeply concerned for the safety and well-being of my beloved wife, Yanfei Bao.

Our 9-year-old daughter and I are desperate for any information that could help Police locate her.

Yanfei is a dedicated real estate consultant and was engaging with the local community through door knocking when she went missing and we have not heard from her since.

“We are incredibly worried and ask for any assistance from anyone that knows something.

We pray for Yanfei’s safe return and would like to thank everyone for their vigilance and support at this time.

We would like to request privacy from the media while the Police investigation is ongoing.

If you have any information about her or where she might be, please call 111 and quote event number P055385539.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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