UPDATE: Coquitlam SAR joins search for missing New West woman

Police release photos of woman's clothing

The New Westminster Police Department is growing increasingly concerned about the disappearance of Queensborough resident Nirla Sharma as days pass.

Posters of Sharma are attached to poles lining Columbia Street in New Westminster, just outside the police station.

While there is nothing to indicate foul play at this point, according to Sgt. Jeff Scott, he told the Record foul play hasn't been ruled out.

As of today, Coquitlam Search and Rescue is helping with the search for Sharma, and set up a staging area at New Westminster Fire Hall #3, according to search and rescue team member Michael Coyle.

The search and rescue team is searching the shoreline and green spaces, as well as other locales, according to Scott.

Police are looking for any witnesses who may know what happened to Sharma.

Sharma, 44, was last seen at her residence in the 300-block of Lawrence Street on Sunday, Feb. 23 at 9 p.m., according to a press release from police.

Investigators are requesting anyone with dash-cam video footage who may have been driving in the 300 block of Lawrence Street, or Lawrence Street and Ewen Avenue, between midnight and 6 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 24 to come forward.

“As the days go by, we become increasingly more concerned for her safety,” Sgt. Jeff Scott said in the release. “Investigators need to review any footage from the area to help advance the investigation regarding Mrs. Sharma’s whereabouts.”

Anyone with information or dash-cam footage is asked to contact Det. Justine Thom at 604-529-2578.

When last seen in her residence, Sharma was wearing pink pyjamas with a pink T-shirt and had gone to bed. Although Sharma was last seen wearing pyjamas, police say she may be wearing a black jacket with a hood and orange Nike shoes.

Police have released photos of clothing it’s believed Sharma was wearing at the time of her disappearance.

According to police, a family member reports hearing the front door chime activate about 4 a.m. on Monday. Sharma typically arrives at work in Burnaby at approximately 6:30 a.m., but she did not attend work that morning.

“We are very concerned for Mrs. Sharma because she has not shown up for work, and there are no obvious reasons why she left at 4 a.m. She left without telling anyone and did not take any of her personal belongings, which is out of character for her,” Scott said in the press release. “We are asking for the public’s help to locate her so that we can ensure her well-being.”

Sharma is a South Asian woman, who is 5’3”, weighs about 138 pounds and has a slim build, the release stated. She has a medium complexion, short black hair and brown eyes.

She has a tattoo of an OM symbol on her left arm, a tattoo of a crown on her right wrist, a rose on her tailbone and a design on her left ankle, according to police.

The New Westminster Police Department’s major crime unit is investigating and trying to locate Sharma. Anyone with information is asked to call New West police at 604-525-5411 or if she is seen to call 9-1-1.


© New West Record

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