Police have launched an urgent manhunt for a real estate agent who disappeared while leading a man through a house.
Yanfei Bao, 44, disappeared on July 19 shortly after she was due to meet a client at an estate in Hornby, New Zealand.
She was last seen in the suburbs trying to sell the home of a couple who had moved to Australia.
The owners – who wished to remain anonymous – said they were “shocked and stunned” by the estate agent’s mysterious disappearance.
Her nearly 40-year-old home has now become a crime scene and police are describing it as an area of ”significant interest”.
The block, which the pair say should undergo a forensic examination, has become the focus of investigations.
According to the couple, Yanfei was supposed to show someone the location on Wednesday, the morning of her disappearance.
The Christchurch estate agent is feared to have been abducted from the property, although police are now treating the matter as a murder investigation.
Local residents have been warned to expect an increased police presence in the coming days as the search for answers continues.
Disturbingly, a few days after Yanfei was reported missing, an open house was held at the property.
An auction for the block scheduled for Wednesday has now been postponed as police continue to investigate the crime scene.
The owners said: “We just hope that everything will be fine.”
Extensive searches continue across Hornby, with authorities using both foot and helicopter searches of the area.
Looking for clues, the teams focused on the nearby Halswell River area around Lake Ellesmere in Greenpark.
Dive crews used sonar technology to continue the search underwater, police said.
The case shares the same eerie characteristics as that of missing Brit Suzy Lamplugh, who disappeared while touring a London flat in 1986.
Locals are hopeful that Yanfei will be found alive, despite police escalating the investigation to a murder investigation.
Detective Inspector Nicola Reeves said the property’s contents were “certainly one of the determining factors” in that decision.
Yanfei’s family, who live in China, said her mother broke down and “cried ever since she heard the news.”
A 52-year-old man was arrested at Christchurch International Airport on Saturday on suspicion of kidnapping.
The suspect, who had only been in New Zealand for a few months, attempted to board a one-way flight to China with no luggage.
The police accused him of taking Yanfei without her consent and with the intention of detaining her.
After his court appearance, a judge allowed his name to remain temporarily anonymous as he was remanded in custody.
Instead, officers directed the public to focus on possible sightings of both the suspect’s vehicles and the real estate agent’s vehicles.
The man was driving a silver Mitsubishi sedan with a DPH101 license plate and a distinctive yellow diamond sticker with a black kiwi on the trunk.
Police declined to say if there was any evidence Yanfei was in the vehicle, but forensic testing is ongoing.
Investigators are also working to find out how the missing realtor’s car was taken to a different street on the day of her disappearance.
Police assured locals that they are putting all their efforts into the case and want to “get them home safe and sound”.
In one of Britain’s most notorious cold cases, property agent Suzy Lamplugh, 25, disappeared in Fulham in July 1986.
She should be like “Mr. Kipper” showing a flat on Shorrolds Road but was never seen again.
Witnesses saw her with an “extremely smart” guy with dark hair slicked back, aged between 25 and 30, wearing a dark suit.
Suzy was officially pronounced dead and believed to have been murdered 30 years ago this month – but there is now hope that new technology may provide new answers.
Scotland Yard named convicted murderer, rapist and kidnapper John Cannan as the prime suspect in her 2002 disappearance.