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Police concerned for welfare of missing real estate agent, colleagues join search

Author
Sam Sherwood and Kurt Bayer,
Publish Date
Thu, 20 Jul 2023, 3:44pm
Yanfei Bao was last seen yesterday in the Wigram area about 10.30am. Photo / Canterbury Police
Yanfei Bao was last seen yesterday in the Wigram area about 10.30am. Photo / Canterbury Police

Police concerned for welfare of missing real estate agent, colleagues join search

Author
Sam Sherwood and Kurt Bayer,
Publish Date
Thu, 20 Jul 2023, 3:44pm

Forty Christchurch real estate agents have joined the search for a colleague who has been missing since yesterday.

Police are appealing for information regarding missing Christchurch real estate agent Yanfei Bao.

A post on the Canterbury police Facebook page said Bao had been reported missing, and her family and police had “concerns for her welfare”.

On Thursday, Detective Inspector Nicola Reeves said she was last seen about 10.30am on Wednesday on Vickerys Rd, Wigram, where she was “carrying out a matter of business”.

Her car, a silver Nissan Dualis, registration PKT556, was located nearby at Iroquois Place, Wigram.

“Police and Ms Bao’s loved ones have concerns for her welfare, and it is out of character for her to have not been in touch.”

Her partner Paul Gooch was too distraught to speak today. But a family member told the Herald about their distress at what feels to be a “surreal” situation. Bao’s disappearance is totally out of character, he said.

She has a young daughter while her personal possessions including passport, money, and clothes is at her family home in Avonhead.

”There is nothing indicating that she has disappeared to another country or another city or anything,” the family member said.

Specialist search staff searching the old Wigram Airforce Base for missing real estate agent Yanfei Bao. Photo / George Heard

Specialist search staff searching the old Wigram Airforce Base for missing real estate agent Yanfei Bao. Photo / George Heard

She has never disappeared or gone out of communication before, he said. Before she vanished, nothing out of the ordinary had happened to her that anyone noticed.

”It’s surreal,” he said.

”This stuff doesn’t happen in Christchurch or this country.“

”We’re trying to keep it as positive as possible... she got lost, you know.”

Bao’s friends and colleagues have been out searching today while the family have been told by police to stay by the phones.

Bao's car, a silver Nissan Dualis, registration PKT556, was located nearby at Iroquois Place, Wigram.

Bao's car, a silver Nissan Dualis, registration PKT556, was located nearby at Iroquois Place, Wigram.

Bao had recently started working at Harcourts’ Wigram branch. Branch manager Hamish McLeod told the Herald she was not at work yesterday, and staff did not know what had happened.

The branch had stopped working and more than 40 real estate agents were helping search for her.

Bao’s profile on the Harcourts site said she has “extensive experience” in sales, and was previously a top-selling salesperson in a major electronics brand.

“She reached the status of Apple Master, which is a rare achievement. She is highly educated and capable with a Master’s degree in English linguistics and a post-graduate diploma in business management and is ready to utilise the knowledge she gained from her academic achievements to enhance the result she delivers for clients and customers.”

Yanfei Bao was last seen yesterday in the Wigram area about 10.30am wearing the outfit pictured and reading glasses. Photo / Canterbury Police

Yanfei Bao was last seen yesterday in the Wigram area about 10.30am wearing the outfit pictured and reading glasses. Photo / Canterbury Police

Family was her “priority”, and she loved spending time with her partner and young daughter.

“In her spare time, she loves to read, and her other interests include travel and learning something new every day. If you are looking for a highly educated, passionate, and hard-working salesperson to assist you in buying or selling your most important asset, give Yanfei a call, as she would love to hear from you.”

Anyone who had seen her, or had any information about where she could be, please call 111 immediately and quote event number P055385539.

Sam Sherwood is a Christchurch-based reporter who covers crime. He is a senior journalist who joined the Herald in 2022, and has worked as a journalist for 10 years.

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