“I do not believe she is alive” Missing woman case now homicide

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Jul 26, 2023 |

Photo: Chris Lynch

Police have today elevated their investigation into missing Christchurch woman Yanfei Bao to a homicide.

Detective Inspector Nicola Reeves, who has been heading the police investigation, said police are continuing significant resources to finding her and bringing her home to family.

“We have today informed Ms Bao’s loved ones of the development and we know it the news they did not want to hear. Our thoughts are with them.”

The family was devastated and receiving support from police and victim support.

On Monday, a 52-year-old Bryndwr man appeared at Christchurch District Court charged with kidnapping Bao.

He was granted interim name suppression and remanded in custody.

Detective Inspector Nicola Reeves

Detective Inspector Reeves said search efforts had taken place today in and around the Halswell River, the Greenpark area, Lake Terrace Road, New Brighton road and Palmer’s Road intersection.

She said police were keeping an open mind in terms of whether others were involved.

“However, we are not actively seeking anybody at the moment.”

Police Dive Squad at Halswell River Photo: Chris Lynch

“Public information is a vital part of this investigation. And we would now like to hear from any members of the public that saw Ms Bao’s car on Wednesday the 19th of July.

The car was a Silver Nissan Dualis with the registration number PKT 556.

Police at Trevor Street in Hornby on Tuesday morning photo: Chris Lynch

“Police are interested in the movements of the car between when when she was last seen on Trevor street just before 1230 in the afternoon, and when the vehicle was found on Iroquois place at 10:45pm.

We are now looking now for sightings of her vehicle post 12:30pm.

She said the suspect’s car, a silver Mitsubishi DPH 101 was also parked on the street.

“We have had a significant police presence on Trevor street looking for CCTV footage, which we have found a good deal of. And we can see her car parked in the street. We’re now looking for where her car went after 12:30pm.”

Further charges for a 52-year-old man charged with kidnapping on Sunday are being considered.

Reeves said the Trevor Street for sale house still held “significant information and concern.”

“In an investigation like this, we have a number of investigative techniques that are open to us. I’m not going to go into what they are. But one of the things that I would really like to mention, and acknowledged is the Christchurch public.

“To date, we have had received over 170 pieces of information, which is fantastic. And we have a very dedicated team who are working through all of those pieces.”


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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