Husband of missing New Westminster woman Nirla Sharma released on bail

The New Westminster Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in locating 44-year-old New Westminster resident Nirla Sharma.

NWPD handout

The husband of missing New Westminster woman Nirla Sharma was released on bail this week after previously being charged with threatening his wife and then violating bail conditions. The couple’s daughter insists he played no role in her disappearance.

Rishi Deo Sharma, 44, is accused of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm on Jan. 25 and then breaching three release orders between Jan. 26 and Feb. 25 after his arrest. None of the charges have been proven in court.

A Feb. 28 release order shows that Risha Sharma is now required to follow 12 conditions. He is due back in court March 4.

Vanessa Sharma has been searching for her mother and putting up missing-person posters around the city. She couldn’t be reached for comment Friday but recently wrote about her parents on social media.

“My mother was the love of my father’s life,” the 20-year-old wrote on Instagram. “He would do anything for her and he wants nothing but to have her home safe.”

She criticized media for putting her father “on blast” and said her dad “has been worried and more hurt than any of us.”

Nirla Sharma, a 44-year-old mother of two, was last seen Sunday at around 9 p.m. at her home in the 300-block of Lawrence Street in New West.

Her family told police she had gone to bed wearing pink pyjamas and a pink T-shirt. Family members heard the front door chime at around 4 a.m. on Monday but Sharma, who typically arrives at her job at B.C. Hydro in Vancouver at around 6:30 a.m., didn’t make it into work and hasn’t been heard from since.

The New West police major-crime unit is investigating the disappearance. Sharma, who left her keys, wallet, and cellphone at home, is being treated as a high-risk missing person.

“We are very concerned for Mrs. Sharma because she has not shown up for work, and there are no obvious reasons why she left at 4 a.m. She left without telling anyone, and did not take any of her personal belongings, which is out of character for her,” New West police Sgt. Jeff Scott said earlier this week. “We are asking for the public’s help to locate her so that we can ensure her well-being.”

Cops described her as a South Asian woman, 5-foot-4 with a slim build, weighing about 138 pounds. She has a medium complexion, short black hair and brown eyes. She has a tattoo on her left arm of an OM symbol and tattoos of a crown on her right wrist, a rose on her tailbone and a design on her left ankle.

Police said she was last seen wearing pyjamas but may be wearing a black jacket with a hood and orange Nike shoes.

Investigators are looking for dashcam footage from anyone who may have been driving in the 300-block of Lawrence Street between midnight and 6 a.m. on Monday.

Anyone with information about Sharma’s whereabouts can call New West police at 604-525-5411 or call 911.

—With files from Kevin Griffin



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