Missing woman Leonie Emery: Police believe she was alive for at least three weeks after family lost contact

Police have revealed new information in the case of missing mother-of-five Leonie Emery following her disappearance in early 2018.

In an exclusive interview with The Hui, police now believe she was alive for at least three weeks after her whānau lost contact with her on January 2. They have also traced her last known movements of the then 25-year-old to the small Waikato town of Huntly.

Leonie's mum, Malanena Emery, has spent the past three years searching small North Island towns trying to find information.

She has spent a lot of time thinking about the circumstances surrounding her death because Leonie would've never left her five children.

"She was a good mum, she loved her children," Emery says.

Emery has been critical of the police's investigation of her daughter's disappearance. Besides a missing person's post and an appearance on Police Ten 7, there have been no press conferences or fresh appeals for information.

When The Hui met with her, Emery hadn't talked to the police for more than a year.

The detective in charge of the case, Rob Hunkin, says the young woman's disappearance is something they take "incredibly seriously".

"We want her to be assured that we are committed to finding out what's happened to Leonie," he says.

Leonie Emery.
Leonie Emery. Photo credit: The Hui

Detective Hunkin met with Emery last week and says police appreciate that it's the worst-case scenario her family could be going through.

"But for a variety of reasons, we can't always communicate everything we know to maintain the integrity of the investigation," he says.

What the police were able to tell Emery is that her daughter was dropped off in Papakura on January 12, 2018. She then went to Ngāruawāhia and the last confirmed sighting of her was in Huntly on January 26, 2018.

The police are appealing for anyone who saw her in either Ngāruawāhia or Huntly on or around those dates to come forward.

"Any information could help the case," Emery says. "Somebody knows something. If she is dead, let me know where she is, she needs to be put to rest."

If you have any information concerning Leonie Emery, please contact 105 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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