What hap­pened to this mother of three?

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - PHILLIPA YALDEN

A lit­tle over a fort­night ago Kim Rich­mond was en­joy­ing a Satur­day night out at a lo­cal func­tion with friends in Wharepapa South.

She and her part­ner re­turned home to the Aro­hena farm where she raises her two sons and daugh­ter.

Not long af­ter, in the early hours of Sun­day morn­ing, she got into her 2014 Ford Ranger util­ity, registration num­ber HKD553, and headed out the drive­way onto the un­marked, ru­ral road.

The 42-year-old avid sportswoman took lit­tle with her, per­haps a phone and her wal­let.

Tyre marks on gravel at the en­trance­way in­di­cate she headed south.

No one has seen or heard from her since.

Rich­mond van­ished in the dark­ness on Sun­day, July 31 and po­lice say there are no clues to her where­abouts.

There have been no sight­ings of the woman or com­mu­ni­ca­tions be­tween fam­ily. Her bank ac­counts and phone ac­count lie un­touched.

Po­lice divers last week scoured Lake Ara­puni and the Ea­gle he­li­copter has scanned the bush from the skies for any sign of her, or her car.

Search and res­cue teams, with the help of Rich­mond’s fam­ily and lo­cal com­mu­nity, have pounded roads, gullys and farm­land for clues. But noth­ing has been found. ‘‘The dive squad have come and gone,’’ Te Awa­mutu po­lice De­tec­tive Sergeant Paul Van Der Zee said.

‘‘They found some ve­hi­cles that had been there for a con­sid­er­able amount of time, but noth­ing re­lated to this in­quiry.’’

Po­lice say her dis­ap­pear­ance is out of char­ac­ter and they are look­ing at a num­ber of sce­nar­ios as to what hap­pened to her.

‘‘An accident is one of those, but we have noth­ing firm to sug­gest that is the case at this stage.’’

‘‘As to where she has van­ished to is in­ter­est­ing.’’

Searchers are now cast­ing a wider net, trawl­ing the Ara­puni area as far south of Man­gakino.

Rich­mond’s part­ner, her chil­dren and wider fam­ily mem­bers were ob­vi­ously up­set by her dis­ap­pear­ance, van der Zee said.

Rich­mond has a hear­ing dis­abil­ity and at the time of her dis­ap­pear­ance she was wear­ing a High­landers rugby jersey, blue jeans, brown leather jacket and brown leather boots.

Kim Rich­mond was last seen on July 31.

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