Police say the owners of a south Auckland property had no idea there was a dead body lying on their premises.
Officers found a body yesterday which they believe is Waikato woman Rae Portman.
The 33-year-old went missing on June 20 and was last seen at the Mt Albert Motor Lodge in Auckland.
The team investigating Portman's death discovered the body at a rural address in Ardmore, near Papakura, yesterday.
"We were not advised there was a body here, we came as part of routine inquiries in the homicide investigation," Detective Inspector Mark Gutry said.
"It was just with the thorough job that was done here we discovered the body."
Earlier this week police arrested a 32-year-old Hamilton man and charged him with kidnapping Portman. Gutry said officers visited the property in Ardmore after speaking to the man.
"We don't know if Rae had any connection to this property," he said this afternoon.
"We've spoken to the owners and they have co-operated with us and we do not believe they knew there was a body here."
Police were inspecting the property yesterday when they found some of Portman's clothes and other belongings in a garage. Further investigations led them to find the body which Gutry said was not buried, but was covered up with other items.
An autopsy is underway on the body, which will formally identify the remains.
The case featured on TV 2's Police Ten 7 last night and attracted more than 38 calls to investigators with critical information provided in the case.
Kidnap accused in court
The 32-year-old Hamilton man charged with kidnapping Portman was yesterday given name suppression.
He appeared in the Papakura District Court facing only a single charge, but Detective Inspector Mark Gutry said more were likely to follow.
Initially the judge denied name suppression but defence counsel indicated he would appeal the decision and interim suppression was then imposed until the matter could be heard in the High Court.
He will appear in the district court again in three weeks.
Gutry said he hoped the discovery would provide some relief for Portman's family who had a "really rough three months" since her disappearance.
"It's really pleasing if [the body is identified as Portman], to be able to give the family some closure and return Rae to the family."
Police reveal details of disappearance
Before going missing from the motor lodge, Portman - known as "Bok" - dropped her silver Volkswagon Passat at a mechanic after it failed a warrant of fitness.
She is believed to have travelled to Hamilton in a black Mazda Astina, accompanied by a mystery yellow Holden Commodore utility with the license plate LCKDUP on the night of June 20 or morning of June 21.
Phone records show her cellphone was used in the Hamilton suburb of Te Rapa on Thursday, June 21, after police traced her movements to Papakura, south Auckland, the previous night.
Portman's phone was tracked back to Papakura, but police do not believe she was in possession of it by that point in time.
On June 26 the Mazda turned up at a Hamilton scrap yard leading police to believe she died around that area, Police Ten 7 revealed last night.
Police are looking for more information on the movements of both vehicles.
Others charged in relation to case
After her family reported her missing on July 2 and made online appeals for information, her car was returned to her friend Kristina Le Noel.
Le Noel was later charged with stealing the car after allegedly selling it without the Portman family's permission.
Three other people have been arrested as police have traced Portman's whereabouts.
Brendon Wilson and Dean Addison are facing drugs charges, and Voi Marie King is accused of assaulting Portman.
None of the charges related directly to her disappearance.
Gutry said police needed the public's continued support and
asked anyone with information to contact Counties Manukau police or
call 0800 RAE PORTMAN.