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Search continues for Upper Hutt woman

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 22/07/2016
Mary Berrington has not been seen since Tuesday evening. © NZ Police Mary Berrington has not been seen since Tuesday evening.

Search teams are scouring Upper Hutt homes and the Hutt River as they continue to look for a woman missing since Tuesday.

Police say they have grave concerns for 62-year-old Mary Berrington, who they say suffers from a degree of mental impairment and may be exposed to worsening weather conditions.

A "volunteer army" of rescuers joined official search and rescue crews in Wallaceville and Whakatiki this week, after Ms Berrington was reported missing by caregivers.

On Saturday morning Search and Rescue teams were going from house to house in the area around her home for intensive searches.

Sergeant Anthony Harmer said residents in the area shouldn't be surprised to see searchers on their private properties and that they would be easily recognisable by their uniforms.

"Our search teams will make themselves known to home owners when they arrive at a property," he said.

The teams would be checking gardens, bushes and extra buildings such as sheds and garages.

The Police Dive Squad is also checking the Hutt River near the Totara Park overbridge as part of their search.

Sergeant Harmer earlier told reporters Ms Berrington had been known to hide up trees and in bushes and to not respond to calls.

"In Mary's mind, she may think she's done something wrong," he said.

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

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

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