THE search for missing woman Karen Chetcuti is becoming more dire as time passes, according to police.
She could be still alive but the longer it goes, the more grave the situation becomes in relation to her survival
The 49-year-old Whorouly resident has not been seen since leaving the town’s hotel about 7.30pm on Tuesday.
The mother of two had earlier been captured by security cameras at Wangaratta ALDI, leaving with a case of water.
Police are unsure what occurred in the time between her leaving the hotel and her distinctive car being found alight in Myrtleford about 5.15am on Thursday.
After being alerted to her disappearance by work colleagues on Wednesday, police attended Ms Chetcuti’s home on Whorouly Road.
They found her car missing, the home’s lights on and her purse and handbag still at the premises.
The fact her purse and handbag were left at the home was “a situation that appeared extremely out of order”, Detective Sergeant Sol Solomon of the Homicide Squad said.
Asked on Friday if he thought she was still alive, he said it was a hard question to answer. “I don’t know,” he said.
“I hope she is, I really hope she’s still alive.
“She could be still alive but the longer it goes, the more grave the situation becomes in relation to her survival.”
Police have spoken to several people of interest over her disappearance.
“I strongly suspect that there is someone, or some others, involved in this disappearance,” Detective Sergeant Solomon said.
He said police were not aware of any conflict in her life and there was no evidence to suggest her ex-husband had any connection to her disappearance.
“This is something completely out of character for her,” he said.
“She lives a normal lifestyle.
“She doesn’t just disappear without letting the family now.
“Her car was discovered a long way away from her home, completely burnt out, raising the spectre of alarm even greater.”
Police are hoping to talk to anyone who saw the vehicle or has information on 1800 333 000, or by attending their nearest police station.