The search for Orange’s missing mother, Esther Wallis, continues

A reinvigorated and refined search for Orange’s mother Esther Wallis continues after items of clothing were found by police over the past two days.

She went missing during a sunrise bush walk with her partner, but the family say hiking is out of character for the 47-year-old – they claim police are considering the case, which is not being treated as a homicide.

“Locating these items of clothing now gives us an area to focus our attention on,” NSW Police Acting Superintendent in the Central West Police District Gerard Lawson said on Friday.

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“At this stage we found a jacket and a white (knitted) coat and some other clothing items – we cannot confirm whether any of these items belonged to Ms Wallis, but they are certainly items that we have sent off for DNA testing.”

A shoeprint was also found and taken as evidence, but it’s also not clear if it plays a role in the case.

The lab results are expected to be available to police early next week.

Wallis was reported missing at 8am Wednesday, November 30, after emergency services were told she was separated from a companion while bushwalking near Federal Falls, about 12 miles southwest of Orange.

The blonde-haired Caucasian woman was last seen in an orange jacket, black trousers and sandals.

Esther Wallace was reported missing on November 30 after a sunrise bush walk in central west NSW. Recognition: NSW Police

Wallis’ son Tyrone Stewart told Central West Daily: “My mum doesn’t go to see the sunrise, she doesn’t go through the bush, certainly not in sandals.”

Lawson said police must “consider” claims like those made by Stewart and others from relatives who say the walk was atypical, particularly when making “search decisions.”

“We have no suspects at the moment, the family has been very cooperative,” Lawson said.

“I would actually caution the community against speculating about what they think happened. At the moment it is an open question for us.

“There were some aspects that were a bit bizarre at first, but the investigation was able to answer some of those questions.”

The land search continues

Police are currently open to all possibilities, including that Wallis found her way out and chose not to come forward.

Lawson said the area had “a number of trails and firebreaks, so maybe there was an opportunity for them to find their own way out.”

“The psyche and intentions of people who go missing” are considered by the search consultants, Lawson said.

Locals are urged to keep an eye out for Esther if she has left the area and made her way to Orange.

The land search, which is examining new and expanded sections of what Lawson said “is a large area,” will continue through the weekend.

Helicopters and infrared technology have also been used in aerial night searches.

Specialty dogs will be called in to help with the search if Wallis hasn’t been found by Tuesday.

“The tragic reality is that the chances of finding her alive are getting smaller by the day, but we still have hope,” Lawson said.

The police check daily where and whether the search is continuing.

The Sunrise crew pulls a hilarious Kochie prank

The Sunrise crew pulls a hilarious Kochie prank The search for Orange’s missing mother, Esther Wallis, continues

James Brien

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