Search for missing woman continues at remote beauty spot

·4-min read

A search for a missing woman who is thought to have been murdered is continuing at a remote beauty spot.

More than 60 specialist search officers from four police forces are scouring the area of dense forest land in Lancashire looking for 33-year-old Katie Kenyon.

Police have said there is only a “slim hope” of finding the mother-of-two alive.

Ms Kenyon’s family have shared messages on Facebook saying there is “still hope” of finding her, asking for information on any sightings and for people to say prayers for her safe return.

A 50-year-old man from Burnley originally held on suspicion of kidnap has been further arrested on suspicion of murder.

More than 20 vehicles are parked at an apparent rendezvous point for police and fire services in Gisburn Forest, Ribble Valley, which is said to be the largest wooded area in the county, measuring more than 4.6 square miles.

The hunt for Ms Kenyon now involves police and fire service officers, dog teams, mounted police, mountain rescue volunteers and drones.

Ms Kenyon, from Padiham in Burnley, has not been seen by her family since last Friday morning.

At about 9.30am, a woman matching her description left an address in Todmorden Road with a man and travelled in a silver Ford Transit, registration MT57 FLC, to the Bolton-by-Bowland area of north Lancashire. She has not been seen since.

A silver Ford Transit
The Transit van highlighted by police (Lancashire Constabulary/PA)

Detective Superintendent 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 inquiries 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.

“I am really grateful for all the help that members of the public have given us so far and I would continue to appeal to anyone who has any information, however small, to come forward and speak to us.

“While we do have someone under arrest our inquiries are very much ongoing.

“We are continuing to search a number of different locations in connection with this investigation, including at Gisburn Forest, and I am grateful to colleagues from Merseyside and North Wales, and other emergency service partners who are offering assistance in the these complex and wide-scale searches.

“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.

“The police teams are trained professionals who are used to doing this sort of work and I would hate for someone to get lost or come to harm while trying to help. Please leave it to us.”

Police previously issued a photograph of the Transit van – found in Burnley – and are continuing to appeal for anyone who saw the vehicle, or has dashcam footage, to come forward.

Ms Kenyon is described as white, 5ft 9in, with shoulder-length strawberry blonde/ginger hair.

She was last seen wearing a blue shirt or jacket and white vest top, black leggings and flip flops.

Her family, who say her disappearance is out of character, are being supported by trained officers.

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

Alternatively, contact independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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