Karen Buckley: Police continue to search in park where handbag was found

‘Grave concern’ for missing Cork student (24) as officers say they want to find grey car seen north of Glasgow

The parents of Cork woman Karen Buckley, who is missing in Glasgow, have issued an appeal for information as police confirmed they had found a handbag during their search on Tuesday.

Ms Buckley went missing in the city after she visited a nightclub with friends last Saturday.

Police now believe she travelled in a car to a man’s flat and left it at about 4am. She was earlier seen on CCTV speaking to the man outside the nightclub.

A press conference, attended by Ms Buckley’s parents, took place on Tuesday afternoon.


Det Supt Jim Kerr said police were gravely concerned that something may have happened to the young woman after she left the man’s flat at 4am on Sunday.

He said that after leaving the club she and the man she was seen speaking to on CCTV travelled to his flat in Dorchester Avenue, in the Kelvindale area, in his car.

“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.”

Ms Buckley was last seen when she left the flat at around 4am and was planning to walk home to her flat in Hill Street.

Police stressed the man is not being treated as a suspect. A handbag which police believe belong to Ms Buckley was found in Dawsholm Park, near Dorchester Avenue, early on Tuesday afternoon.

There has been no activity on her social media accounts in the last couple of days and her mobile phone is believed to be out of battery.

Police said they were also keen to find out more about a grey car that was seen on the roads between Milngavie and Drymen north of Glasgow between 11am and 3pm on Monday.

Det Supt Kerr said: “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.

“We are gravely concerned that Karen has come to some harm, whether that is down to foul play, criminality or she has taken unwell or had an accident is obviously still to be established.”

Police have also traced a second man to whom the student spoke in the nightclub before she left.

Her father John Buckley was also at the press conference today.

He said: “We are extremely concerned for her. We are desperate to get her back and safe with her family — she is our only daughter, we love her dearly and just want her to come home safe and sound.

“If anybody is holding Karen or anybody knows anything of her please return her. Just give her back. We love her to bits.”

Karen’s mother Marion also appealed for the public’s help and said if anyone knew anything they should come forward.

“We just want Karen home safely. We are desperate. She is our only daughter we love her dearly and if anybody has any information please come forward. We would dearly appreciate it.”

The search is continuing on Tuesday for Ms Buckley who arrived at Sanctuary nightclub in Dumbarton Road, Glasgow, at about 11.45pm on Saturday night.

At about 1am she told friends she was going to the toilet but did not return and did not take her jacket.

She was then seen on CCTV outside talking to a man and then walking westwards along Dumbarton Road away from the city centre, in the opposite direction from the accommodation she shares with three friends on Hill Street, about a mile and a half away in the Garnethill area of Glasgow.

Friends of the Glasgow Caledonian University student raised the alarm on Sunday, saying it was "very out of character" for her not to return home.

Background of student

Ms Buckley is a first year occupational therapy student at Glasgow Caledonian University.

She moved to Glasgow in January and before that was a nurse at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex.

She has three older brothers, Brendan (32), Kieran (28) and Damian (27).

Police added that she had travelled widely abroad and was aware of how to take care of herself.

The West End, Glasgow’s most fashionable neighbourhood, is a mainly residential area but does include a number of popular bars, restaurants and clubs.

Sanctuary club is near the landmark Kelvingrove museum and the Western Infirmary hospital.

Ms Buckley is white and around 152cm to 157.5cm (5ft to 5ft 2in) with dark hair and brown eyes and had long black curly hair with extensions.

When last seen she was wearing an all in one black jump suit with red high heels and a black handbag.

A Facebook page has been set up at https://www.facebook.com/HelpFindKaren to help find the missing woman.

Additional reporting: PA