Sanford police are asking residents in the Kittery area to remain on the lookout for a 40-year-old Sanford woman missing since Jan. 22.

Kerry Rear was last seen at the Lil’ Mart in Sanford, when she entered the convenience store and appeared to be disoriented, according to staff interviewed by police. Rear was not wearing shoes and was soaking wet, the employees said. Rear believed she was in a bank, and inquired about making a deposit, police said. She left the store for a few minutes before returning to ask the same questions again.

Earlier this week, Rear’s parents made a public plea for information about their daughter’s whereabouts, and increased reward money that would either lead to her safe return or help locate her.

The Rears said they are offering a $10,000 reward “to the person who provides direct information” leading to the safe return of their daughter. A $5,000 reward remains in effect for any information leading to her whereabouts.

Since a news conference Tuesday with Kenneth and Sheila Rear, tips have poured in about possible sightings of their daughter, including a report that she was seen in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, said Sanford police Detective Eric Small.

“We have received a lot of calls and tips regarding the sighting of Kerry, but none that can be confirmed to actually be her,” Small said in an email message. “We continue to follow up on all the tips we receive. Portsmouth was just one of those locations. Leaving no stone unturned, we distributed (fliers) in Portsmouth and asked Portsmouth PD to post it on their Facebook. I think people in the seacoast area should remain vigilant, as Kerry lived in Kittery in the past and it’s an area she is familiar with. I cannot say with any certainty the person reported in Portsmouth was Kerry Rear.”

The Rear family, of Bradenton, Florida, said their daughter was dealing with mounting issues in her life, and they believe the increasing pressure triggered her breakdown. She had suffered from alcoholism and unspecified mental health problems in the past, but had never drifted out of touch with her family, her parents said.

On Jan. 22, she left the Lil’ Mart in Sanford on foot and headed toward Country Club Road wearing brown sweatpants and a black puffy jacket with a pink-lined hood. She stands about 5-foot-6, weighs about 130 pounds and has blond hair and blue eyes. Police have completed three searches for Rear with dogs, but all came up empty. One dog handler believed she may have gotten into a car headed toward New Hampshire, police said.

Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: MattByrnePPH