Police divers search Halswell River for missing real estate agent Yanfei Bao

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Jul 25, 2023 |

The Police National Dive team is searching a stretch of the Halswell River for missing real estate agent Yanfei Bao. 

The 44-year-old was last seen on Wednesday last week while door-knocking in Wigram. 

Photo: Chris Lynch

A 52 year old man was charged with kidnapping and was remanded in custody without plea when he appeared in court on Monday. He was granted interim name suppression. 

The man was arrested at Christchurch Airport on Sunday.

Police dive squad members were scouring the Halswell River in Greenpark on Wednesday morning. 

Police were searching the river in IRBs with officers directing them from the river bank. 

Photo: Chris Lynch

A police truck was parked near the riverbed and a police van had blocked off the adjacent rural road next to boggy swamp land. 

A police dog unit was also searching the riverbed and a large media contingent was at the scene.

Detective Inspector Nicola Reeves says Police are increasing their search activity in locations across Christchurch.

Ms Bao was last seen on Wednesday last week and an active missing person investigation remains ongoing.

Photo: Chris Lynch

Search activities will be taking place today in and around the Halswell River, and the nearby area of Greenpark. 

The Police National Dive Squad have been deployed to assist the investigation team.

They are expected to begin searching in the water today, however this is reliant on the water levels being at a safe level for staff. 

Photo: Chris Lynch

Detective Inspector Nicola Reeves said residents in the Greenpark area can also expect to see a police presence in the area searching for Ms Bao.

“We are keeping an open mind as to where Yanfei is and what may have happened to her, but we do have grave concerns at this time.

“As such, we are considering all possible lines of enquiry and making every effort to locate her.”

Photo: Chris Lynch

Staff will also remain at the Trevor Street address in Wigram, conducting a scene examination.

Police would like to acknowledge their appreciation of the public’s assistance over the past few days.

The investigation team has received a number of pieces of information and are working through each report.

Every piece of information is valuable to understanding what has occurred since Ms Bao disappeared.

We continue to be interested in any information relating to sightings of a silver Mitsubishi sedan with the registration DPH101 between Wednesday 19 and Saturday 22 July.

If you can help, please get in touch with Police via 105, either by calling or going online to https://www.police.govt.nz/use-105 using ‘Update Report’.

Please reference file number 230720/5911.

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]

Have you got a news tip? Get in touch here

got a news tip?