“We are very concerned that something has happened to her. We are working with three theories: that she has got lost, that she has been in an accident or that she is the victim of a crime,” said Erik Kummu at Norrbotten police to news agency TT.
The 29-year-old woman left her home in Piteå in the far north of Sweden on Friday afternoon to travel to an employment interview in Jukkasjärvi on Saturday. She was due to spend Friday night with friends in Gällivare but she did not show up. Neither did she show up for the interview.
Police found her abandoned car at around 4pm on Saturday in a service area by the E4 motorway near Stenbron, immediately south of Gällivare. The car was locked, undamaged and contained clothes belonging to the woman, according to local newspaper Norrländska Socialdemokraten.
The woman’s mobile telephone was also in the car.
A cause of further concern to the police is that the woman has no previous criminal record, no known record of depression or other illness, no prior unexplained disappearances and is regarded to be a stable, conscientious person.
“All the information that we have received indicates that she is a totally normal, well-organised woman,” said Kummu.
The woman’s boyfriend, who lives further south in Sweden, alerted the police.
During Saturday evening and Sunday morning police combed the area around the motorway service area with the help of sniffer dogs, but to no avail.
“We will now try to organise a relief crew during the morning, so that we can continue with fresh resources,” said Olle Kvarneros of Norrbotten police early on Sunday morning.
“We will also call up a helicopter from Östersund to begin searching the area with the help of a thermal imaging camera.”