Rae Portman believed to be dead
Tue, 18 Sep 2012 4:30p.m.
Police are now treating the disappearance of pregnant Hamilton woman Rae Portman as a homicide.
Ms Portman, 33, who police believe was involved with the drug scene, was last seen on June 20 when she drove her VW Passat from Hamilton to Auckland and checked into a Mt Albert motel.
“The elevation to a homicide is based on information from the public through the 0800 RaePortman and the Crimstoppers phone numbers,” said Detective Inspector Mark Gutry of the Counties Manukau police.
“The public are encouraged to continue contacting police with any information they have, no matter how trivial they believe it is.”
Speaking at a media conference in south Auckland earlier this month, mother Rebecca Norton gave an emotional plea to anyone who may have information about her daughter to contact police.
"Welcome to every mother's worst nightmare," she said. "And it's likely that it's a nightmare that's come true at this stage."
Through tears Ms Norton said her daughter, who has the nickname "Boky", was four months' pregnant at the time of her disappearance with what would be Ms Norton's first grandchild.
“Not only am I grieving the loss of my daughter, I’m actually in the position where I’m grieving my first grandchild,” she said.
"I think the hardest thing is not actually knowing what happened to her and I beg someone in the public to come out ... somebody knows something, somewhere.
"Even though we don't know where Rae is at this stage it's like grieving for the loss of your child."
Three people have been arrested on assault and drugs charges but police say they are not related to Ms Portman's disappearance.
Ms Portman did not have a partner and her family did not report her missing until the beginning of July because they were used to not hearing from her for weeks at a time.
A female friend of Ms Portman's appeared in Auckland District Court this month charged with the theft of Ms Portman's car.
Ms Portman dropped her car, which was worth about $2000, to an Auckland mechanic to be repaired on June 20.
On July 3, the day after Ms Portman was reported missing by her mother, the mechanic made a public appeal on Facebook for her family to collect the car.
A friend picked up the car a short time later, telling the mechanic she had permission from Ms Portman's family, but Det Insp Gutry says this was untrue.
The woman then allegedly sold the car for $1000.
She has been charged with theft of a vehicle and is due to reappear in court on November 20.
Ms Portman was not reported missing until the beginning of July because her mother was used to not hearing from her for weeks at a time.
Police urge anyone with more information to contact 0800 RaePortman or Crimestoppers anonymously, or to visit www.facebook.com/pages/Where-is-Rae-Bok-Portman.
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