Site secured after police find body in north Wales

Fri, Nov 2, 2012, 00:00

WELSH POLICE searching for missing Offaly vet Catherine Gowing are to resume investigations around a pond near the English border today, following the discovery of human remains yesterday.

Ms Gowing (37) has not been seen since she was filmed by closed circuit television leaving a supermarket shortly before 9pm on Friday, October 12th, near her home in New Brighton, Flintshire, in north Wales.

Police began to comb a field in Sealand on Wednesday following information provided to them by a member of the public.

A postmortem on the remains, which were found in a shallow pond yesterday but which have not yet been identified, will take place today.

A forensic examination was undertaken at the scene.

Investigation ceased as darkness fell last night, although uniformed officers secured the site overnight. Work will begin again at first light, North Wales Police told The Irish Times.

Clive Sharp (46), from Bethesda, has already been charged with Ms Gowing’s murder and remains in jail in Liverpool pending his next court appearance in early January.

“Catherine Gowing’s family have been informed of this distressing development and clearly our thoughts are with them at this very difficult time,” said Det Chief Insp Mark Pierce of North Wales Police.

Despite the discovery of remains, detectives are still urging any members of the public who may have seen any suspicious activity in the field – known locally as the “Lum” – to come forward to them.

Ms Gowing’s burnt-out Irish-registered Renault Clio was found in a quarry days after the alarm was raised when she did not turn up for work in a veterinary practice in Mold. She had worked there since she trained as a vet in Hungary.

On Wednesday, Ms Gowing’s sister, Emma Gowing, and her husband Shay, who have been in Wales since the alarm was raised, met police officers searching in Alltami, six miles from where yesterday’s discovery was made.

Afterwards Ms Gowing paid tribute to those involved.

“They are a group of determined individuals working hard to reunite us with Catherine. We are so grateful for their positive attitudes and commitment.”

Locals held a Mass in Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church in nearby Buckley on Wednesday, which, Ms Gowing said, had “reinforced our hope and strength”.

Local curate Fr Francis Doyle said his parishioners were “finding it very difficult” to cope with the disappearance of the vet. Ms Gowing was originally from Clonlee, Co Offaly.

“We commend her to God in our tradition and way and we pray for her and all who are dear to her. It’s quite clear a number of people are finding it very difficult to come to terms with it. We hope her body is found,” Fr Doyle said.

Mr Sharp appeared by video-link at Caernafon Crown Court on October 23rd from a remand centre in Liverpool for a 10-minute hearing.

He spoke only to confirm his name and that he understood proceedings.

Mr Sharp will be asked to enter a plea when he reappears in court on January 7th for a case-management hearing.

A full trial for murder is expected to take place months later.