The daughter of a recently-deceased local woman is appealing to the Clutha community for assistance in solving a mysterious disappearance.
Whangarei resident Sue-Anne Moo hopes the community can help with locating her mother Ann Wheater’s missing rings.
Mrs Wheater, of Balclutha, was a relief teacher at South Otago High School.
Ms Moo said the three rings were in the possession of her mother at Clutha Health First hospital on February 8 and 9, but could not be found following her mother’s death, aged 71, on February 12.
The rings were bequeathed to family members including Ms Moo, and were primarily of sentimental value, she said.
‘‘Our family has been very stressed from the situation because we have failed to locate the rings and we’re very worried they may have been stolen,’’ Ms Moo said.
‘‘We would very much like to honour her final wishes to keep the rings within the family as family heirlooms.’’
Ms Moo said she had posted the disappearance on local social media pages, and reported the incident to Balclutha Police.
She said her mother was known for her ‘‘fashionista’’ style by many school students, teachers and close friends, and was always wearing jewellery, including the rings. ‘‘My mother’s love language was giving gifts, and that’s why the rings are of even more intangible value — because it was her main way of expressing love to her loved ones.’’
Clutha Health First could not verify the rings ever being within the hospital as they were not disclosed in Mrs Wheater’s personal belongings during her time as an inpatient, Ms Moo said.
Police said they were continuing to investigate, and would welcome any information from the public.
Ms Moo said she wanted to give the family some ‘‘peace of mind’’ during what was an already stressful time.
‘‘We’d just love to have a part of her back. If people could keep an eye out for the rings either online if someone is attempting to sell them, or if they see them in person, please contact the police and let them know.’’
The rings are a 9-carat big square diamond ring with rock clusters; a 9-carat gold wedding band (both resized to Size Q); and a solitaire diamond ring that matches the wedding band.