Katie Kenyon: Man arrested on suspicion of murder of missing woman

·4-min read

Watch: Searches for Katie Kenyon continue in Lancashire

A 50-year-old man who had been arrested on suspicion of kidnap in relation to missing woman Katie Kenyon has now been arrested on suspicion of her murder.

Police had said they were "extremely concerned" about the welfare of Katie, 33, who was last seen on Friday getting into a Ford Transit in Burnley, Lancashire.

They have now confirmed there is only a “slim hope” she is alive.

Detectives are set to ask magistrates for further time to quiz the suspect who is said to be known to Katie.

On Monday, they were given a further 36 hours to question him.

Det Supt Gary Brooks, Lancashire Police’s head of major crime, said: “While I hold some slim hope that Katie may still be found alive I’m sad to say that Katie has now been missing for over four days.

“Despite extensive police enquiries and media appeals we have not found Katie nor have there been any sightings of Katie.

“We have spoken to Katie’s family today and they are understandably extremely upset by this latest development and I have officers continuing to offer them support. My thoughts are with them at this time."

Katie Kenyon was last seen on Friday getting into a van in Burnley, Lancashire. (PA)

Lancashire Police added in a statement: “A man arrested on suspicion of the kidnap of Katie Kenyon has this afternoon been further arrested on suspicion of her murder.

“Whilst Katie has not yet been found, we are now working on the basis that she is sadly no longer alive.”

More than 60 specialist search officers from four police forces are scouring a rural beauty spot in Lancashire for Katie.

The hunt, involving search dogs and a plane, is focused on the dense Gisburn Forest in the Ribble Valley, said to be the largest wooded area in the county – measuring more than 1,200 hectares (2,965 acres, or more than 4.6 square miles) – and popular with walkers and cyclists.

The force released an image of a silver Ford Transit van in an appeal for information.

At about 9.30am on Friday, a woman matching Ms Kenyon’s description left an address on Todmorden Road with a man and travelled in the van, registration MT57 FLC, to the Bolton-by-Bowland area of north Lancashire.

"As part of our investigation want to hear from anyone who recognises this van," said Lancashire Police.

"We remain extremely concerned about Katie’s welfare after she was reported missing from home last week.

"And detectives from our Force Major investigation Team are following a number of lines of enquiry to try and find out what has happened to her.

Read more: Bermondsey stabbing victims were 'mother, father and two daughters'

Lancashire Police have released an image of a silver Ford Transit van in an effort to find missing Katie Kenyon. (PA)

"Her family are extremely concerned and say Katie’s disappearance is out of character for her. They are currently being supported by specially trained officers."

Lancashire Police want to hear from anyone who was in Bolton-by-Bowland or the nearby area and may have seen Ms Kenyon, either with someone or on her own, or anyone who has dashcam footage of the Ford Transit van.

Ms Kenyon is described as white, 5ft 9 inches, with shoulder length strawberry blonde/ginger highlighted hair. She was last seen wearing a blue shirt/jacket and white vest top, black leggings and flip flops.

Detective Chief Inspector Al Davies, of the Force Major Investigation Team at Lancashire Police, said: “We continue to be extremely concerned about Katie and we have a large team who are working hard to try and find out what has happened to her.

Police say they are 'extremely concerned' about the welfare of Katie Kenyon. (PA)

“I am keeping an open mind about what has happened to her but my concern obviously grows as time goes by.

“I would appeal again to anyone who was in the Bolton-by-Bowland area on Friday and saw anything suspicious to get in touch, especially if they saw the silver van or Katie alone or in company. Please do come and speak to us even if you think the information you have may not be important.

“We continue to support Katie’s family and to keep them updated with any developments.”

Det Supt Brooks added: “I am aware that many members of the public have offered to help us in those searches and while I am grateful for that I would dissuade anyone from doing so.

"The area we are searching is very large and remote with no phone signal."

Anyone with information should call police on 101 quoting log 800 of 24 April or contact police through the Major Incident Public Portal at https://mipp.police.uk/operation/0401020119P01-PO1.

Anyone with information can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting