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Christchurch Police have confirmed that the bodies recovered from a car on the Port Hills yesterday [Monday 21 May] were those of two women who had been missing since last Thursday.
They were: Marilyn Adele Zidich, aged 62, and her daughter Selina Adele Madden, aged 34, both of Belfast, Christchurch.
Formal identification was completed today. The deaths have now been referred to the Coroner, who will make a determination on the cause of death. The vehicle is currently being examined by VTNZ.
The family of the two women have released the following statement:
"We would like to express our thanks to Police for the efficient and considerate manner in which the matter has been handled. They have been great to deal with.
"We want to thank everyone who helped with the searches for their time and efforts.
"We are also grateful to members of the public for coming forward and offering assistance, and to the media for keeping the search in the public eye.
"We now ask for privacy as our family grieves, and ask for media to respect our request for privacy."