Woman missing in Christchurch
Wed, 30 Jan 2013 6:39a.m.
By Thomas Mead
Police are concerned for the wellbeing of a German woman missing in Christchurch, as an overnight search and rescue operation continues today.
Britta Kappel, 30, was reported missing after she failed to return from a bike ride in the Burwood Plantation yesterday.
Police say there is no indication of suspicious circumstances in her disappearance at this stage, but she is understood to be medicated, lightly clad and carrying limited food and water.
Police could not confirm why Ms Kappel is taking medication.
Around 20 search and rescue staff searched the Burwood Plantation area overnight, with police, dog teams and LandSAR volunteers involved, says search co-coordinator Sergeant Tony Tully.
The search operation is continuing today, with teams combing the forest on foot, in vehicles and on bikes. Ms Kappel has not been found on any of the major tracks.
A helicopter may be brought be in later to today to assist the search, over an area that extends through to nearby Waimari Beach.
Police have described Ms Kappel as Caucasian, 165cm tall, of slim build and with shoulder-length black or brown hair and blue eyes.
One of the woman’s friends, Delpine Ducaruge, is spreading the word through Facebook, asking others to join in a search effort.
“Britta is very social and friendly and talks to everyone, anywhere, anytime. Alex her partner, myself and everyone who knows Britta is more than worried.
“[She] went for a bike ride in the Burwood plantation this Tuesday morning at 11am and hasn’t come back yet.
“She's average height, has very blue eyes, is quite tanned, was wearing black pants and running shoes with a blue singlet and a backpack, white helmet (not biking helmet, skateboarding kind of helmet). Her bike is a blue and white Giant bike slightly too big for her.”
A group of Ms Kappel’s friends are understood to be distributing flyers in the area today. She’s understood to have only been in New Zealand for three months.
Christchurch Police are asking anyone with information to Ms Kappel’s whereabouts to contact them immediately on 033637400.
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