Search for Hutt woman facing downsize

  • 23/07/2016
Mary Berrington (supplied)
Mary Berrington (supplied)

Police say they are nearing a time where they "may need to scale back efforts" to search for a woman missing since Tuesday.

Police say they have grave concerns for 62-year-old Mary Berrington, who suffers from a degree of mental impairment and may be exposed to worsening weather conditions.

Ms Berrington was last seen on Tuesday, and officially reported missing the following day.

However, after speaking with Ms Berrington's family, police admitted in a statement that "searches have been completed of all reasonably possible areas where Mary could be".

They say the search will continue tomorrow, but will probably be reduced following that if there's no positive outcome.

A "volunteer army" of rescuers joined official search and rescue crews in Wallaceville and Whakatiki this week, after Ms Berrington was reported missing by caregivers.

On Saturday, Search and Rescue teams numbering more than 50 undertook intensive searches of properties and outhouses in the area around her Fergusson Dr home.

Sergeant Anthony Harmer earlier took a moment to thank those involved in the hunt for Ms Berrington.

"Everyone has worked tirelessly over the last three days to try and find Mary and return her to her family," he said.

"The search effort has been exhaustive across a wide area using both professional and volunteer searchers."

He said residents in the area shouldn't be surprised to see searchers on their private properties and that they would be easily recognisable by their uniforms.

"Our search teams will make themselves known to home owners when they arrive at a property," he said.

The teams would be checking gardens, bushes and extra buildings such as sheds and garages.

The Police Dive Squad is also checking the Hutt River near the Totara Park overbridge as part of their search.

Sergeant Harmer earlier told reporters Ms Berrington had been known to hide up trees and in bushes and to not respond to calls.

"In Mary's mind, she may think she's done something wrong," he said.

"She certainly hasn't. Mary's done nothing wrong."

He said Ms Berrington had gone missing in the past in similar circumstances but it was not clear what had prompted this disappearance.

NZN / Newshub.