Police in Scotland say there are gravely concerned that Irish woman Karen Buckley has come to harm after going missing in Glasgow. Detectives investigating the case have found a handbag belonging to Ms Buckley (24), from outside Mallow, Co Cork. They are appealing for information about a grey car seen on country roads close to the city on Monday.
They said that after leaving the Sanctuary nightclub in the west end of the city, Ms Buckley and the man she was seen speaking to on CCTV travelled to his flat in Dorchester Avenue, in the Kelvindale area, in his car. Ms Buckley left the flat at about 4am.
At a press conference in Glasgow yesterday, Det Supt Jim Kerr said police had spoken to that man but he was not being treated as a suspect. "We've traced the man she was with in Dorchester Avenue. He believes he was intimate with her at his flat consensually in the early hours of Sunday." Det Supt Kerr said the man was assisting police with their inquiries.
“I must stress that at this time he is not a suspect; from what we can see she does not appear under duress. There is no sign of struggle or reluctance on her part to leave the club, however, again that does not mean that nothing untoward has happened to her.”
Det Supt Kerr said police had also spoken to another man who was seen speaking to Ms Buckley after she left the venue in the Partick area of the city. He said that “although this is very much a missing person inquiry, we are gravely concerned for Karen’s safety”.
“She has now been missing for more than 48 hours and she has not been seen or heard from since she left the Sanctuary Club,” he said. “Whether that is due to foul play or criminality or she has taken unwell or had an accident is obviously still to be established.
“We know she left the club with her handbag – which has been found in Dawsholm Park – but left her coat behind and so far has not returned to pick it up. Why she left so suddenly without telling her friends we just don’t know – it was very much out of character, she is usually very good at keeping in touch with pals.”
Police were continuing to search for information in the city’s west end, closer to the nightclub, and the Kelvinside area of Glasgow, where she was last seen. He appealed for information about a grey car, the model or brand of which was not available, that was seen on country roads between Milngavie and Drymen between 11am and 3pm on Monday.
“Did you see the car maybe parked in layby or on the road? Did you notice any suspicious activity surrounding it?” Det Supt Kerr asked. “The activity of this grey car on the Monday is something that we’re a wee bit concerned about. This car has been seen at various locations on these roads and I want to know why.”
He said the response from the public had to date been very encouraging and offers of help with the search effort had been received. “It is good to know there are people who are willing to help us, however, at this time what we need is information about her whereabouts and her movements after leaving the club.”
Det Supt Kerr said Ms Buckley was “a lovely girl” who was close to her family and popular with her friends. “She has only been in Glasgow a few months and if staying out will always let her friends know, hence the real concern here.”