Foul play suspected in disappearance of Dunedin mum

Dunedin police have re-opened a cold case involving the disappearance of a Dunedin woman, saying they now suspect foul play.

Mother-of-three Tuitania (Tui) Marama Barclay was last seen in Dunedin in October 2002. 

She was reported missing by her ex-partner in February 2003 but police investigations turned up nothing.

Investigation head Detective Senior Sergeant Malcolm Inglis said today police reviewed the case last year and now believe Tuitania, who was 29 at the time she went missing, may have been the victim of foul play.

The decision to re-investigate was based on a further "careful re-evaluation and piecing together" of the existing facts.

Police recently searched two addresses in Dunedin where Tuitania lived for any clues as to her disappearance.

The police dive squad has also helped in the case, diving at Ross Creek in mid-April, a place Tuitania is known to have frequently visited.

Police say they are following a number of leads they cannot publicly reveal at the moment.

"We are however keen to hear from anybody who might have information that might assist us with this inquiry." 

Tuitania was also known as Tuitania McIntosh, Tuitania Brown and Sandra Williams. She was Caucasian, of petite build and about 157-160cm (5ft 2") in height, with dyed dark brown hair at the time of her disappearance, although her hair was more often blonde.

Police say she had a past history of drug-taking and prostitution but prior to her disappearance had been leading a life not involving drugs or prostitution.

Her most recent address was in Wakari Road, Dunedin, where she was renting a house with her then partner.

The couple had two children together and she also had another child from a previous relationship.

Although around September 2002 Tuitania had indicated that she was going to leave the relationship, she appeared to be focused on caring and raising her three children.

"This appeared to be a woman who had been off the rails a bit in the past but had now turned her life around and showed all the signs of a caring mother who would not leave her three children," Detective Senior Sergeant Malcolm Inglis said. 

People with information could contact Detective Matt Preece on 471-4800. Alternatively information can also be provided anonymously to the organisation Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

ODT/directory - Local Businesses

CompanyLocationBusiness Type
Stainless Restorations WanakaSpecialist Trades
Wooden TableMosgielCatering
Acme Metal & Drum 2008 LtdDunedinSpecialist Trades
Speedy SignsDunedinSigns & Signwriting