A west Auckland couple is stunned after a Coroner said their lack of action probably contributed to the death of Iraena Asher.
A Coroner has found the model and student is likely to have drowned by accident almost eight years ago at Piha beach.
Julia Woodhouse and her son found Asher wandering on the streets in an agitated state and took her back to their home.
Police suggested the failure of Woodhouse and her partner Bobbie Carroll to call police contributed to Asher's disappearance.
Carroll yesterday labelled that accusation "despicable", while Woodhouse said it was police who failed Asher, not them.
However Coroner Peter Ryan today echoed what police said in his findings.
"Their decision not to contact the police was a contributing factor in Iraena's death. Now this comment is not a criticism of them or of their actions," he said.
But the couple say they are not to blame.
"Iraena was not well, she made unwise choices. We tried to help her," said Woodhouse.
Carroll said she is comfortable with the couple's decisions.
"We gave Iraena the last four hours of her life, in a warm cosy, loving safe house."
Carroll believes Asher would have fled from her house earlier, if she knew the police had been called.
Police were criticised at the time of Asher's disappearance after it was discovered that she had called them for help, but they sent a taxi instead, which never made it."
Coroner Peter Ryan said this morning at Auckland District Court that he was satisfied Asher was dead.
He ruled out that she committed suicide, instead ruling she probably went into the sea and accidentally drowned.
Police earlier told the inquest they believe she is dead and most likely drowned in the unforgiving west coast swells.
"At the time of her disappearance it is believed Iraena Asher was suffering from a manic bi-polar episode," officer in charge Detective Senior Sergeant John Sutton told the inquest.
"She wandered into the surf at Piha beach and drowned. In my view this is the most probable explanation."
Sutton said it is less likely she became lost in the bush or met a sinister end.
"Police cannot completely rule this out, however I am satisfied with the investigation completed to date and in my view it is an unlikely possibility on the evidence available."
Two hundred statements were taken and more than 750 homes were door-knocked by police, but Iraena has never been found.
The police file into Asher's disappearance is now officially closed. Police say it will only be reopened if any remains are discovered.