Vanished: Mysterious disappearance of Clarence woman Melissa Ewings

Melissa Ewings has been missing from the Clarence area, north of Kaikoura, since September 20....
Melissa Ewings has been missing from the Clarence area, north of Kaikoura, since September 20. Photo: Supplied
Six months ago 31-year-old Melissa Ewings went for a walk - and was never seen again.

She was last seen just before dusk on Sunday, September 20, and failed to show up at work at a beekeeping business just 400m from her house the following morning.

Ewings was then reported missing.

For half a year her family and friends have held out hope that she would be found, but her disappearance remains a mystery.

After Ewings vanished, police found her house was locked, her car parked in its usual spot, her wallet and bank cards where they should be.

None of her personal belongings was missing.

Ewings' family said she was a keen adventurer, but it was very unlike her not to keep in contact with them.

Days after she was last seen her cellphone was found, tracked to within 100m of her home at Clarence, north of Kaikoura.

The Herald reported at the time that police search teams had gone through all of the local properties and spoken to the residents as search and rescue teams scoured the nearby Clarence River.

The body of water had been swollen and muddy since Ewings disappeared and there were fears she may have fallen in.

Coastline checks were also carried out and helicopters were used for extensive aerial searches.

Still, there was nothing. Ewings had simply vanished.

Twenty-four days after Ewings was reported missing, Marlborough area prevention manager Peter Payne said the search for her had been officially suspended.

"While we are no longer actively searching for Melissa, we will review any new information that is brought to our attention.

"Every missing persons inquiry is treated on a case-by-case basis and a decision about when to suspend a search involves a number of factors, including the areas able to be searched, evidence located and other lines of enquiry being exhausted."

Payne acknowledged how difficult the disappearance had been for the Ewings family and promised police would "continue to keep an open mind as to what has happened to her".

The Herald has contacted police and the Ewings family for comment.







Local trusted journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Star Media journalists and photographers continue to report local stories that matter everyday - yours.

For more than 152 years our journalists have provided Cantabrians with local news that can be trusted. It’s more important now than ever to keep Cantabrians connected.

As our advertising has fallen during the pandemic, support from you our reader is crucial.

You can help us continue to provide local news you can trust simply by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter