The father of a preschooler killed with her mother claims police were told of their disappearance but did nothing; the police say no concerns for their safety were raised until last year.
The remains of Faizal Kalim's three-year-old daughter, Jojo, and her mother, Pakeeza Faizal, were found in the mud flats under a bridge on Auckland's North Shore on Saturday.
Police believe the pair were killed in late 2006 or early 2007 in Howick but say the first report they had that they were missing was in January last year.
However, Mr Kalim said he went to several lawyers, one of whom told him she went to the police five or six years ago.
"She told me that she did go to the cops and for some reason they wouldn't help me, because I had a past criminal record."
A police spokesperson this afternoon said neither Mr Kalim or his lawyer ever approached the police about any safety concerns about the pair.
"The lawyer spoken to today confirms that this is not something she would initiate in any respect and is adament she did not attend any police station.
"The context of asking for 'help' at that time was to find an address for Pakeeza so that she could be served family court documents.
"There there were no concerns for their safety expressed in any communication between Jojo's dad and anyone else at that time."
No concerns for the pair's safety were expressed until Ms Faizal's mother contacted police in January last year, the spokesperson said.
Mr Kalim said Ms Faizal had a protection order against him at the time she and his daughter disappeared but that did not mean the police should not have become involved.
Two years after they went missing, the second of two private investigators he had working for him even checked school records, as his daughter would have been five years old at the time.
He said after those efforts amounted to nothing, he went back to knocking on doors in parts of Auckland, asking people if they had seen or if they knew her.
Mr Kalim said he went to great lengths to find his daughter, and never once gave up hope.
Mr Kalim said he even visited museums and a mosque to try in a bid to find his daughter.
He wiped away tears when asked if he was relieved that she, along with her mother, had finally been found.
Mr Kalim said the glimmer of hope he had left was gone.
He said Ms Faizal was a great mother, and despite their differences, he had kept in regular contact with his daughter.
A 41-year-old man, who was known to the Mr Kalim and the pair, has been charged with their murder, while a 64-year-old man has been charged with being an accessory after the fact.