IN THE search for missing woman Amber Christie, police are being assisted on the ground by SES crews from Woodburn, Broadwater, Ballina and Lismore.
IN THE search for missing woman Amber Christie, police are being assisted on the ground by SES crews from Woodburn, Broadwater, Ballina and Lismore. Marc Stapelberg

Divers to join search for clues into Amber's disappearance

LATEST: POLICE divers are on their way to Evans Head to join in the search for missing local, Amber Christie.

The 49-year-old was last seen on Sunday at 3.58pm, captured on CCTV footage from a licensed premises, as she went for a walk.

Police District Detective Chief Inspector Darren Cloake said the search for clues into her disappearance remained a priority, with a search continuing overnight. 

Throughout the day on Tuesday, police air wing and drones supported more than 45 ground searchers from the State Emergency Service, Richmond Valley Council and Surf Lifesaving at Chinamans Beach and along the Evans River.

Ms Christie is 162cm tall, with tawny brown, long hair and is athletic in build, was last seen in the Oak and Park street area of Evans Head on Sunday afternoon.

Insp Cloake said he called on anyone who may have CCTV or dashcam footage of the seaside town on Sunday afternoon to come forward.

"We may able to piece together a direction of travel Amber took which will help us locate her," he said. 

"The last known sighting of Amber was picked up on CCTV footage from a licensed premises at 3.58pm and her whereabouts is still unknown." 

PolAir police using a specialist thermo-imaging camera were assisted on the ground by SES crews from Woodburn, Broadwater, Ballina and Lismore. 

Insp Cloake said police were unable to bring in search dogs as her last confirmed sighting was outside a licenced premises. 

"This is a hard surface, in a populated area; with dogs we need a definite low-traffic area so they can get a scent," he said.

"We are still seeking assistance from the community in terms of trying to find that piece of information that may lead to her being restored back to her family.

"I am not expecting foul play but I am keeping an open mind."

Insp Cloake confirmed Ms Christie did not take her phone or purse when she left for a walk.

"At this stage we are appealing to the public and if anyone has any information of Ms Christie's whereabouts they should contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000."

 

UPDATE 11.35am: IN THE search for missing woman Amber Christie, police are being assisted on the ground by SES crews from Woodburn, Broadwater, Ballina and Lismore.

Leading Senior Constable Amanda Vidler from Richmond Police District Police Rescue said an aerial search is being conducted by police air wing, police rescue drones and surf life saving drones.

She said they had requested police divers to assist searching a number of places, including the river.

>>> Photos from the search for missing woman

She said the search area was determined by "theories and high probability areas where a lost person may go".

"We have a lot of areas that we would search under this circumstances, based on their age, ability, what equipment they would have available, time of day, things like that."

Richmond Police District Detective Chief Inspector Darren Cloake said the search for 49-year-old Amber Christie of Evans Head continues today

"Despite our main body of work conducted yesterday along the coastline, using a number of assets including helicopters and helicopters, we have been unable to find her," Insp Cloake said.

"This situation, as it currently presents itself, is an open investigation.

"We are still seeking assistance from the community in terms of trying to find that piece of information that may lead to her being restored back to her family.

Ms Christie is 162cm tall, with tawny brown, long hair and is athletic in build.

She was last seen in the Oak and Park street areas in Evans Head on Sunday.

"The last known sighting of Amber was picked up on CCTV footage from a licensed premises at 3.58pm," Insp Cloake said. "Her whereabouts is still unknown."

"Yesterday a number assets were deployed. Today, there are approximately 45 operatives in the field, made up of police, SES and surf rescue.

"There will be a number of number of  air and sea assets deployed along the coastal areas and we are hoping to locate Amber.

"It is a difficult search in terms of the topography, there is a lot of scrub land and bush land that is making our search more difficult.

Insp Cloake expressed his thanks to the "tight knit" community for the level of response and support they gave police in helping search for Ms Christie on trails and coastal areas.

"Given it is now a couple of days since she was last seen, we still maintain serious concerns for her health and welfare," he said.

"It has been cool overnight.and we know that from the descriptions supplied on the CCTV footage that she was clothed in a cold weather jacket , but she would be in desperate need of food and water and we do hope that our efforts today are successful."

 

Original story: POLICE fear a woman missing in Evans Head may be injured in a remote area, unable to raise the alarm.

Richmond Police District Inspector Darren Cloake said officers are working closely with several agencies in their efforts to locate missing Evans Head woman, Amber Christie, 49.

Police are appealing for public help to locate missing woman, Amber Christie, 49, who was last seen leaving her home on Ash Street, Evans Head, about 4.15pm on Sunday, May 3 May.
Police are appealing for public help to locate missing woman, Amber Christie, 49, who was last seen leaving her home on Ash Street, Evans Head, about 4.15pm on Sunday, May 3 May.

>>> Planes, Divers help in search for missing Evans Head woman

Insp Cloake said from as soon as her family reported to them that the mother of one was missing, they have been working around the clock to locate her.

"From the time she was reported to us as missing police have been searching throughout the night, in and around the township," he said.

"My big fear is that she is injured and is unable to command attention due to the remoteness of the area.

"If she is injured, she has been out for (two) nights in cool weather and we need to locate this lady as soon as possible.

"Police maintained vigilance in the township overnight in case information came through."

Insp Cloake said after they brought in the Westpac life Saver Helicopter to search on Monday they have requested assistance from PolAir.

"Today we have a fixed wing aircraft with specialist equipment an crew on board to help those on the ground to search Chinaman's beach which is a known place Ms Christie used to visit," he said.

"I am not expecting foul play but I am keeping an open mind.

"We will continue to search both sides of the Evans Rivers from the town and police divers will also be involved as well as several State Emergency Service Units, Richmond Valley Council Rangers and Surf Lifesavers.

"The initial search pattern concentrated from her home address, following the path she took through town to the last confirmed sighting of her outside the hotel in town where footage shows her walking, and to the Razorback lookout area."

Insp Cloake confirmed Ms Christie did not take her phone or purse when she left for a walk.

He said Ms Christie was dressed appropriately for her walk which he said she was known to do regularly.

"This lady has lived in Evans Head for 14 years, she works remotely for a Melbourne business and this walk she took on Sunday was not out of character for her."

Insp Cloake said Leading Senior Constable Amanda Vidler who heads up the Richmond Police District Rescue Unit is also involved.

"I applaud the Evans Head community for their support of her family and for their search efforts so far," he said.

"At this stage we are appealing to the public and if anyone has any information of Ms Christie's whereabouts they should contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000."


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