Police searched a Dunedin home yesterday for clues relating
to the disappearance of a mother who went missing 12 years
Investigators have reopened the cold case concerning Tuitania
(Tui) Marama Barclay and say they now suspect foul play.
Detective Senior Sergeant Malcolm Inglis, of Dunedin, said Ms
Barclay had not been seen since October 2002, when she rented
a house in Wakari Rd, Dunedin, with her former partner Bill
Det Snr Sgt Inglis, who is leading the investigation, said
police searched for clues yesterday at a Dunedin residence
where Ms Barclay had lived.
Police searched another of her past residences in mid-April,
About the same time, the police dive squad were called to
check Ross Creek reservoir, a place Ms Barclay frequently
''We are basically leaving no stone unturned,'' Det Snr Sgt
The squad found nothing at the reservoir relating to her
disappearance, he said.
The original police inquiries into her disappearance started
when Mr Brown reported her missing on February 28, 2003 -
about four months after Ms Barclay was last seen in Dunedin.
''He believed she had just walked out of the house and
Det Snr Sgt Inglis said that at the time, Mr Brown had talked
to and assisted police and no significant leads were
He said four police staff working on the case for the past
three months had not yet spoken to Mr Brown, who no longer
lived in New Zealand.
A month before Ms Barclay disappeared, she had indicated she
was going to end her relationship with Mr Brown.
''We are keeping a very open mind as to who is involved with
her disappearance, or what's happened,'' Det Snr Sgt Inglis
''All avenues are being looked at and not just one person in
The couple had two children together and Ms Barclay had
another child from a previous relationship.
When Ms Barclay disappeared, the two youngest children were
under the age of 2 and Mr Brown cared for the children.
Two of the children now lived in England and the other lived
in New Zealand, but not in Dunedin, he said.
''We would like to bring some closure for them. It would be
nice for them to have a body they can put to rest.''
Det Snr Sgt Inglis said before she disappeared, Ms Barclay
had a history of drug-taking and prostitution, and was
focused on caring for and raising her three children.
''She was a mother who took her children to school, to
doctor's appointments, took them to Plunket. We are finding
no great evidence of serious drug use; nothing to indicate
she was off the rails.''
Ms Barclay was Caucasian and of small build, and was aged 29
when she disappeared.
''She was quite a petite lady, about 160cm in height - just
over five foot - and generally had blond hair but at the time
of disappearance had dark hair.''
Ms Barclay, who had adoptive parents, had gone by three
different names - Tuitania McIntosh, Tuitania Brown and
Det Snr Sgt Inglis said the case was reopened when her
missing-person file was reviewed last year.
The evidence would be re-examined and information gathered
from the public, he said.
Police were talking to people who knew Ms Barclay at the time
of her disappearance, including friends, family and past
''Everyone we speak to, we are finding out new things, which
is helping greatly.''
Police believed if Ms Barclay had committed suicide, or died
from natural causes, police would have already found a body.
''Nothing has surfaced in 11 years, so we must consider an
element of foul play.''
There was a slight possibility she could still be alive.
''She could have jumped on a fishing boat and gone to
Australia. It's unlikely, but you've got to keep an open
The Otago Daily Times reported in June 2004 that
police inquiries had revealed Ms Barclay had links to a
Christchurch gang when she went missing.
Det Snr Sgt Inglis said it was ''thoroughly investigated'' at
the time and police had gone back to gang members and
He hoped people would be more willing to share information on
Ms Barclay than they had 11 years ago.
People with information can contact Detective Matt Preece on
471-4800. Information can also be provided anonymously by
calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555-111.