British Columbia

Mother-of-two's unusual disappearance investigated by major crime unit in New Westminster, B.C.

Nirla Sharma, 44, failed to show up for work on Monday morning and did not take any personal belongings with her.

Nirla Sharma was last seen in her home in the Queensborough area at about 9 p.m. Sunday

The major crime unit with the New Westminster Police is looking for Nirla Sharma, who was last seen at her home at about 9 p.m. Sunday. (New Westminster Police Department)

The disappearance of a woman who seemingly left her home in the middle of the night without obvious reason is being investigated by major crime investigators in New Westminster, B.C.

Police are asking for the public's help to find Nirla Sharma, 44, who is considered a "high-risk" missing person because of the nature of her disappearance.

A statement said Sharma was last seen at her home in the 300 block of Lawrence Street in New Westminster at 9 p.m. on Sunday. She went to bed wearing pink pyjamas with a pink T-shirt.

Police said a family member told officers the front door chime was activated at 4 a.m. on Monday, leading investigators to believe she left the house around that time.

A couple of hours later, Sharma failed to show up at her job in the billing department of BC Hydro. Her usual start time is 6:30 a.m., police said.

Her daughter, Vanessa Sharma, 20, said the family is shaken by her disappearance and doesn't know of any reason her mother may have left.

"We have printed out missing persons posters ... My friends and family and I have gone and looked for her and we are still looking for her. We are just hoping that someone had seen her or might know something," Vanessa Sharma told CBC News.

Vanessa Sharma said family members thought her mother had taken the dogs outside in the morning, but both pets were still inside.

Her mother's work cellphone, personal cellphone, credit and debit cards were left at home.

Nirla Sharma has a tattoo of an Om symbol on her left arm, a tattoo of a crown on her right wrist, a rose on her lower back and a design on her left ankle. (New Westminster Police Department)

New Westminster Police spokesperson Sgt. Jeff Scott said investigators are asking for the public's help so they can find the missing woman and ensure she is OK.

"Because this is completely out of character, that escalates our concern for her well-being. At this point, there is no obvious reason why or how she left," Scott said in an interview Wednesday.

It is not known if she left the area in a vehicle or walked, but Scott said Sharma did not take her own car.

The New Westminster mother is described as a South Asian female with a slim build, five feet three inches tall, weighing about 138 pounds, with a medium complexion and short black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing pyjamas, but could be wearing a black hooded jacket and orange Nike running shoes.

Scott said Nirla Sharma has two children, including her daughter.

New Westminster police are asking anyone with information about her whereabouts to call them or 911. Investigators are also asking anyone with potentially relevant dashcam footage to come forward.


With files from Yvette Brend