Human remains found in search for missing vet

Published date: 02 November 2012 |
Published by: Hayley Collins and Jennifer Meierhans
Read more articles by Hayley Collins and Jennifer Meierhans

A forensic tent at the scene 

Police searching the site at Sealand 

Police search the fields in Manor Road, Sealand 

Police search the fields in Manor Road, Sealand 

Police at the search site in Sealand 

Divers prepare to enter the pond in fields in Manor Lane, Sealand 

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HUMAN remains have been discovered in the hunt for missing vet Catherine Gowing.

Police divers made the grim discovery while searching a shallow pool within a field known as the Lum next to Manor Road in Sealand.

A post mortem and formal identification was carried out yesterday and the results are expected today.

Senior investigating officer DCI Mark Pierce said: “Following information received by members of the public, recent searches have focused on fields in Manor Road, Sealand.

“Yesterday (Wednesday) search team officers discovered human remains in a shallow pool within the field known locally as the Lum.

“At this time those remains have yet to be formally identified as this will require medical as well as forensic examination.

“Catherine Gowing’s family have been informed of this distressing development and clearly our thoughts are with them at this very difficult time.”

Police spent more than two weeks searching quarries and woodland around Pinfold Lane in Alltami, where Miss Gowing’s burnt out car was found.

But the search was moved to Manor Road this week following new intelligence.

DCI Pierce added: “This development came about as the result of information from the local community for which I am very grateful.

“However, I am once again asking for their assistance.

“The search for evidence relating to Catherine’s disappearance continues and I am eager to hear of any sightings of her Irish registered Renault Clio 00D 99970 and (Clive) Sharp’s black Volvo S40 AG58 JHE since Friday, October 12, and particularly in the Sealand area.

“I would like to hear from anyone who saw any suspicious activity in fields in Manor Road, Sealand, to contact police.”

Search teams continue to scour the undergrowth around the 30ft wide pond for more evidence.

Sergeant Neal Parkes, lead search adviser for North Wales Police, said at the scene: “We are not pulling out of here. We’ll be here for another couple of days.

“We are here in order to gain evidence.

“There’s going to be a ground area search of the surroundings of the pond.

“We are not talking about the whole field as it’s been ploughed but the vegetation.”
Searches at the quarry at Alltami have been suspended.

Sgt Parkes added: “We have pulled out of the quarries with a view to revisiting at a later date.”

Catherine, of Cae Isa, has not been seen since about 8.40pm on Friday, October 12, when she was sighted on CCTV leaving Asda supermarket in Queensferry.

Since that time Clive Sharp, 46, of Bethesda, Gwynedd, has been charged with her murder.

Anyone with information about sightings or any suspicious activity in the Sealand area is asked to call North Wales Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Latest news a shock for friends and family

NEIGHBOURS and colleagues have spoken of their shock at the latest development in the hunt for missing Catherine Gowing.

Yesterday police confirmed human remains had been discovered at a pond in fields in Manor Lane, Sealand.

Earlier yesterday the human remains had yet to be formally identified, but neighbours in Cae Isa, New Brighton, where Miss Gowing lived, are struggling to come to terms with the discovery.

Her next door neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said: “It was a shock. I only put the TV on for the Welsh news and there it was.

“I only knew her to say hello to, but she was always smiling.”

A policeman remains stationed outside the home where she had lived for the past 18 months with her friend and fellow vet Jane Doyle.

Her colleagues at Evans Veterinary Surgery in Clayton Road, Mold, have also told of their shock.

Barbara Elder, who has worked with Miss Gowing since she joined the practice 18 months ago, yesterday said: “Police rang us this morning  to tell us. It’s an upsetting day for everyone here.”

She added: “She was very bubbly and friendly and very well liked.

“We have had a lot of people come in, not knowing what to say and they’ve just said sorry.”

Dozens of cards and heartfelt messages line the front counter of the veterinary practice.

Single Miss Gowing grew up on the family farm in County Offaly in Ireland, where her elderly parents John and Maureen live.

Her uncle Edward Gowing, who is also a vet, said Miss Gowing was expected to come home at Christmas and take over the family farm.

Speaking shortly after her disappearance, he said: “Catherine was a very bubbly outgoing person. She was a great social mixer and had lots of friends.

“She is two years working as a vet, she loved it and loved living in Wales.”

'Community so subdued'

THE community in Sealand are in shock after human remains were discovered in a field on Manor Lane.

Ward councillor Christine Jones says she has never seen the community so subdued.

“On the Manor estate everyone is so bubbly and chatty, but when I was there yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon everyone was just so subdued.

“People were walking around in a state of shock at what’s happened in their community.

“It’s half term and normally the kids are out playing, but there wasn’t a child on the street.”

Divers made the grim discovery in a fishing pond, known locally as the ‘Lum’ on Wednesday.

Cllr Jones added: “I can’t believe it has happened in my ward, in my community.

“As soon as the white tent went up everyone knew something had happened.

“Police had been there for a couple of days, but yesterday (Wednesday) it was more intense, the divers turned up.”


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