Saturday, October 10, 2009

Aisling Symes Missing

Article sourced from:

Police: We have no leads on Aisling

Last updated 05:00 11/10/2009

As the search for missing Auckland toddler Aisling Symes enters its seventh day, police have admitted they have no strong leads, and have renewed pleas for those connected to her disappearance to come forward.

New "heartbreaking" footage of Aisling, two, dancing in her family home was released last night in the hope it might encourage anyone with information to contact police.

"While it is heartbreaking footage to see given the current circumstances, we feel it humanises Aisling even more than a still photograph can," the officer in charge of the investigation, Inspector Gary Davey, said.

"While several people of interest have been profiled by the intelligence section and suspect team, we have not had any strong information that might lead us directly to Aisling."

Davey has urged Aisling's captors to deliver her to a safe place, preferably a hospital in the Auckland region. "Our aim is to have Aisling returned safely to her family... Please return her."

Aisling's parents, Alan and Angela Symes, were yesterday too fragile to talk to media. A spokesperson said: "They have had a bit of a difficult morning."

The new low in what has been described as a week of living hell for the Symes family came as they would have learned that, six days into their little girl's disappearance, police had no promising lines of inquiry. Davey said the family was being kept up-to-date with police operations.

A family spokesperson told the Star-Times that Aisling's parents, along with family members and close friends, spent most of yesterday huddled at their West Auckland home, close to the phone, waiting for news.

Meanwhile, the parents of missing British girl Madeleine McCann expressed their sympathy for the Symes family. Four-year-old Madeleine disappeared in May 2007 from a holiday flat in Portugal, as her parents dined at a nearby restaurant. Despite a massive worldwide hunt she has never been found.

Aisling vanished last Monday about 5.15pm from her deceased grandparents' house in Longburn Rd, Henderson. She was last seen with an Asian woman walking a medium-sized black and grey dog. The woman has not come forward, and police believe Aisling has been abducted. Her disappearance sparked a large-scale police hunt by a team recently bolstered to 60 officers.

Davey said that entering the seventh day of the search and beyond into the new week, his team would be completing area canvasses and following up on a list of "persons of interest".

"What we're doing at the moment is we're really working through our persons of interest that have come up from our profiling of suspicious people and information from members of the public that have been calling in."

Yesterday a police van set up outside nearby Lincoln Rd Pak'n Save saw a steady stream of people coming forward. One police officer manning the van told the Star-Times about a dozen people had come forward in three hours. Police were following up on each bit of information and people should not think any detail too trivial to pass on.

In a statement to the Star-Times, Gerry and Kate McCann said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with Aisling and her family. We wish Aisling's parents the strength and support they'll be needing at this most painful time and we join them in hoping for Aisling's safe and speedy return. We urge anyone who has any information about Aisling to come forward to the local police as soon as possible and end this family's suffering."

The Symes were grateful for the McCanns' wishes, a spokesperson said.


  1. I feel quite sad about it. I think that whoever has her should bring her back immediately because it is breaking the law. I think the Symes family must feel quite sad about it.

    Olivia M9

  2. I think it is sad for the parents because their daughter has gone missing. The guys who took the daughter, if their daughter went missing they wouldn't be happy.


  3. I hope that she comes back and that whoever has got her has feed her well and makes sure she is okay.

    Luke M9

  4. I think that it is really sad that she has gone missing because she is only young and she has a long life ahead of her.

    Brianna M9

  5. I think it is really sad that Aisling has gone missing. It is important that we be careful on the streets.

    Sarah M9

  6. I hope she will be found very soon because her family is probably very sad that she has been lost. It is important to be with an adult or parent.

    Eugene M9

  7. I hope that she is returned home soon because all her family must be very sad.
    Josh M9

  8. I think it is very sad Aisling has gone missing and hope shes back safely in her own home soon.Its important that we be careful on the streets and have parent guidance even if you are older.

    Hollie M9

  9. It was very sad to hear the news last night that Aisling had died. It appears that she has fallen into a drain at the property next door. You are right Hollie, supervision is so important.

    My thoughts are with the family at this sad time.

    M9 Teacher