'Missing' for six weeks? Or did Shelley Crooks just not want to be found?

  • 06/02/2017
Shelley Crooks had last been seen before Christmas (File)
Shelley Crooks had last been seen before Christmas (File)

A woman who had been missing for six weeks has been found on the West Coast in the South Island, but questions remain over where she has been.

A member of the public recognised Shelley Crooks on a walking track near Punakaiki on Sunday evening. They alerted the authorities at around 7pm.

A search has been underway in the Buller District, where she was last seen. Police have been distributing notices and speaking to locals, seeking information about her whereabouts. Family members had been posting on Facebook, desperately appealing for information about Ms Crooks' whereabouts.

Police have previously described Ms Crooks as an experienced tramper, well equipped to go off the grid for a number of days.

But her father, John  Crooks, told media the lack of communication with him and her seven siblings was unusual. He was also concerned that she had not used her mobile phone or bank account.

Ms Crooks had seen last seen in Westport on 22 December. 

The 36-year-old mother of four had told a friend she was hitchhicking to Opotiki, her home town in the Bay of Plenty.

She is in hospital receiving treatment, Police said in a statement on Sunday night.