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Mystery surrounds woman's death

09:30 Sat Feb 2 2013
AAP
Mystery still surrounds the death of a Palmerston North woman who went missing in the central North Island just before Christmas in 2003.
Mystery still surrounds the death of a Palmerston North woman who went missing in the central North Island just before Christmas in 2003.

Mystery still surrounds the death of a Palmerston North woman who went missing in the central North Island just before Christmas in 2003.

Coroner Wallace Bain has ruled that June Sowerby is dead as she has not been seen since December 24, 2003 and has not accessed any bank accounts or other material since then.

Ms Sowerby was 48 when she was last seen near Turangi, 50km south of Taupo. She had borrowed an alarm clock to wake in time to walk the Tongariro Crossing on Christmas Day, but hadn't been seen since leaving that address.

A police investigation could find no evidence of how she disappeared.

Ms Sowerby had been taking medication for depression, though she told a friend a few days before her death that she had started taking herbal remedies.

Police said there was nothing to suggest any self harm, and her nephew Mark Sowerby told the inquest he believed there was either some foul play or she had gone missing.