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Missing Upper Hutt woman may be hiding

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 21/07/2016
Mary Berrington has not been seen since Tuesday evening. © NZ Police Mary Berrington has not been seen since Tuesday evening.

A missing Upper Hutt woman may be hiding from police and rescuers fearing she has done something wrong.

Mary Berrington, 62, has not been seen since Tuesday and was reported missing when caregivers arrived at her home on Wednesday.

A "volunteer army" of rescuers have joined official search and rescue crews searching for Ms Berrington around Wallaceville and Whakatiki, Sergeant Anthony Harmer told reporters on Friday.

She suffers a degree of mental impairment and bi-polar disorder, and police believe those conditions may affect her ability to communicate with rescuers.

"We have known for her in the past to hide in trees, hide in bushes and not respond to people calling for her so that makes this search particularly difficult because, in Mary's mind, she may think she's done something wrong," he said.

"She certainly hasn't. Mary's done nothing wrong."

Police want residents in the Wallaceville area to check out buildings, woodsheds and bush-clad areas, while those who have offered to join the search are urged to stick to main roads and public areas to ensure their own safety.

Sgt Harmer said Ms Berrington had gone missing in the past in similar circumstances but it was not clear what had prompted this disappearance.

Police fear for her safety with Ms Berrington believed to be exposed to the elements and poor weather expected this weekend.

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