19 Jul 2010

Police tap into Facebook in search for woman

4:30 pm on 19 July 2010

Investigators trying to find a missing Auckland woman are turning their attention to a social networking website.

Carmen Thomas, 32, of Remuera, hasn't been seen since the start of this month. She hasn't contacted her five-year-old son, her bank accounts are untouched and her car, a Nissan Pulsar, was found in Hamilton four days after she disappeared.

Police have now joined a page about her on the Facebook website to try to generate more information. They've also set up a new official police email address (whereiscarmen@police.govt.nz).

Acting Detective Inspector Mark Benefield says the Facebook concept is new for the police. He says they're departing from their normal methods because younger people communicate differently.

Police are bound by requirements in the Police Manual when accessing social sites during their investigations.

Mr Benefield says they're continuing to keep an open mind as to Ms Thomas's whereabouts. They are still struggling, he says, to find a last point of contact with her.