Family desperate for missing Torbay woman's return

The family of a missing Auckland woman are clinging to hope as a desperate search for the 73-year-old continues.

Pat Wearn suffers from Alzheimer's and hasn't been seen since she left for her regular walk on Monday afternoon.

There's one question her son Andy Wearn is desperate to find the answer to right now. Where is his missing mum?

"In spite of it all, I think we feel very upheld by people in the community - and our church, so, we're hopeful," he says.

Ms Wearn left on her usual 1.5-kilometre walk in the Glamorgan Drive area in Torbay.

As time went on her husband realised something was wrong and phoned police.

Friends and family are gathering to support one another - but as each hour passes, their concern is growing.

"I guess because it's taken, you know, 48 hours now, she's stuck somewhere," her son says.

More than 50 people are working on the response from a base on Auckland's North Shore.

Here, they monitor possible sightings, deploy search teams, and use GPS to plot everywhere they've checked.

"She's now getting to a stage where she won't be as mobile as she has been and she'll slowly become unresponsive. So that makes it difficult for our teams," says search and rescue coordinator Dene Duthie.

Hundreds of locals have expressed interest in helping the search - police say the best way is to check your own property in case she's sought shelter.

Ms Wearn went missing once before, and her son thinks she may have simply wandered off her usual course.

"It's obviously been very sad to see a lot of her function deteriorate but that warmth and love has never gone," he says.

A "warmth and love" the Wearn family desperately want to come back.