Home News Local & Flintshire News

Catherine Gowing case: Police search site in Sealand but say no body found

A police tent is set up off Manor Road, Sealand, as part of the search for the body of Catherine Gowing.

POLICE investigating the disappearance of missing Catherine Gowing have widened the search for her body – and have vowed not to give up looking.

The 37-year-old vet has not been seen for almost three weeks and Clive Sharp, a former Deeside High School pupil, has been charged with her murder.

Specialist teams continue to comb the quarry on Pinfold Lane, Alltami, where Catherine’s burnt-out Renault Clio was found on October 18.
Yesterday (Wednesday) search teams were camped off Manor Road in Sealand and a forensics tent was set up.

One bystander, who did not want to be named, said: “They’ve been down here searching for about a week, but the tent only went up at lunchtime.
“Everyone’s saying there’s a body, but we don’t know if that’s true or not.”

It is understood no body had been found when the Chronicle went to press.

A North Wales Police spokesman said: “As part of the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Catherine Gowing, a large number of calls have been received from the public.

“As a result, police are securing several scenes in the Flintshire area in an attempt to establish their significance.

“One of the areas which continues to be searched is the Manor Road area of  Sealand, and the tent which  has been set up there is a  standard piece of police apparatus which can be used as part of the forensic examination of a site.

“There is no more information available at this time.”

On Tuesday the lead search advisor in the case, Sergeant Neil Parkes, said he firmly believed his team were getting closer to finding Catherine’s body.

Sgt Parkes told of the ‘tough’ and ‘challenging’  conditions officers are facing as the quarry search in Alltami went into its third week.

The last known sighting of  Catherine, who lived in New  Brighton, was at Asda Queensferry at 8.39pm on Friday, October 12.

Since then more than 30 officers, underwater  search teams and Metropolitan Police dogs  have been drafted in to  try and find Catherine.

Sgt Parkes said: “I feel like we’re getting somewhere. I think the longer  the search goes on the  more significant intelligence becomes.

“There are avenues of  consideration coming  through in the last few  days which are leading us into a slightly different  thought process.

“We’re certainly not  going to stop searching. There is an intent to carry this through until  intelligence completely dries  up, which is highly unlikely.”

He added: “The focus, the emphasis, remains here. It’s  a vast area and to cover that takes time.”

Officers meet up at the site at  8am every day and carry out searches of the area until about  5pm.

Sgt Parkes said: “It’s a structured day. The search has to be methodical, it’s  got to be systematic and there have to be procedures in place.

“We have a quick de-brief  about the previous day – anything that has come along information-wise from the previous evening – and then the guys are out.”

Conditions at the quarry are proving difficult – even more so for the underwater search teams.

According to Sgt Parkes,  divers can see virtually nothing and have to bring  anything they find to the surface to look at it.

If it’s not useful they then have to try and put what they’ve found back in the same position so they don’t keep picking up the same thing.

“It’s a tough terrain. The quarry area has got four quite substantial lakes. It’s  open to the elements, that’s for sure,” said Sgt Parkes.

“My understanding is the water is very murky, it’s almost  invisible down there.”