Eastern suburbs mother Jessica Bialek was intending to make a quick two-minute trip to her local bank to withdraw cash on Wednesday morning when she vanished.
She never returned to her Coogee home to pay the cleaner, sparking a desperate search across Sydney on Thursday.
The 37-year-old, an accomplished photographer who has worked for the Australian Ballet and the Bangarra Dance Theatre, was last seen by her husband when she left their Dudley Street home just after 8.30am on Wednesday.
Friends and family mobilised a massive search effort on Thursday, plastering posters throughout the eastern suburbs, speaking to owners at local shops she frequents and scouring beaches at Coogee, Bronte and Clovelly.
They have also retraced the 200 metres between her house and the Westpac bank on Coogee Bay Road and walked down Bondi Road where she spent much of Tuesday.
Her father, Michael Bialek, described her as a “complex character” but said it would be very strange for her to leave behind her two-year-old daughter or not make contact with her siblings, parents, husband or wide circle of friends.
“She’s got a darling little daughter who’s missing her, a loving husband and we’re desperate to find out from her that she’s safe, and if there’s a reason that she wants to be on her own we just want to know that she’s safe and that’s all we’re concerned about,” he said.
Detectives were immediately called in to investigate because her disappearance was so out of character, said Eastern Suburbs police commander, Detective Superintendent Gavin Dengate.
He said police were scouring motels and parks, door-knocking residents and looking at her bank accounts, mobile phone records and social media accounts.
Fairfax understands there had been some activity from her bank accounts and police were trying to establish if they were older transactions that had only been processed in the last 24 hours.
“At this stage, like any investigation, we have a myriad of theories,” Superintendent Dengate said. “We certainly don’t have one we’re concentrating on.”
Ms Bialek’s husband, Sabino Matera, posted a desperate message on Facebook about 8pm on Wednesday asking for help in finding her.
“She left home without her car and [has] not made contact nor returned home. Her phone is off. This is a real alarm,” he wrote on Facebook, where he is also circulating his wife’s photograph.
Ms Bialek, who has a background in dance and singing, is a freelance photographer specialising in performing arts photography, as well as fashion.
Other companies she has worked for include Opera Victoria, Circus Oz and the Victorian College of the Arts.
Ms Bialek is described as being between 170 and 175 centimetres tall, with a slim build and dark hair.
Anyone who has seen her in the past day, or who has any information that could assist investigators, has been urged to contact Maroubra police on (02) 9349 9299 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.