Wellington - New Zealand police searching for a two-year-old girl who may have been kidnapped checked out nearly 200 Asian women registered as dog owners as well as known child sex offenders on Thursday, news reports said.
An Asian woman with a black and grey dog on a lead was seen talking to little Aisling Symes just before she disappeared while her parents were gardening in suburban Henderson, 16 kilometres from central Auckland, on Monday afternoon.
Police suspended an extensive land, sea and air search of a 3- square-kilometre area late Wednesday, saying they were confident she would have been found if she had wandered off or fallen into a local stream.
Local mayor Bob Harvey told Radio New Zealand he had given police details of 192 women with Asian names who were registered as dog owners, but investigations had not produced any results.
Pansy Wong, a Chinese-born member of parliament, said Asian television and radio networks had broadcast police appeals for the woman to come forward.
Police said that they were now interviewing known child sex offenders and checking reports of recent suspicious behaviour in the area to identify possible abduction suspects.
Reports said Aisling's parents were devastated by her disappearance. Her name, derived from her Irish father Alan's side of the family, means "vision of heaven". (dpa)