Police: ‘We are gravely concerned for Karen’s safety’

This statement was released by police investigating the disappearance of Karen Buckley

Speaking at a press conference today, Detective Superintendent Jim Kerr, the officer leading the enquiry into the disappearance of Karen Buckley, a 24 year old occupational therapy student from Cork, Ireland, said:

“Although this is very much a missing person enquiry - 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 in Partick, around 0100 hours on Sunday morning, Sunday 12 April 2015.

“Yesterday we appealed for a man she was seen with on CCTV walking along Dumbarton Road after she left the club; we have traced him and he is assisting us with our enquiries. 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.

“There was talk of another man she had been seen with - we have also spoken to him - so we are no longer trying to trace either of them. However, in saying that, we do need the public to come forward with any information they may have. To them it may seem insignificant, however, to us it may be the piece of information that leads to us finding her.

“The response from the public so far has been very encouraging - people really do want to help. Indeed we have had a number of offers to assist with the search for her. It is good to know there are people who are willing to help us, however, at this time what we need information about her whereabouts and her movements after leaving the club. 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.

“As part of our extensive search for Karen, officers are still in the area she went missing - the west end - as well as other areas in the west and north of Glasgow. We know from our enquiry for example, that she was in the north west of the city - Kelvinside, Dorchester Avenue - in the early hours of Sunday morning. We have still to establish where she went from there.

“Also from our enquiries, we are keen to trace a grey car - no model or make at this time - which was seen on the country roads between Milngavie and Drymen between 1100 and 1500 hours on Monday. Did you see the car maybe parked in lay-by or on the road? Did you notice anything suspicious activity surrounding it?

“As I said this is a missing person enquiry, however, we are gravely concerned that Karen has come to some harm - whether that is due to foul play/criminality or she has taken unwell or had an accident is obviously still to be established.

“Karen is a lovely girl, 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. Like all youngsters, she is also very active on social media but there has been no activity on any of her accounts since Saturday night early Sunday morning.

“This is understandably a heartbreaking time for her family. Of course there is an intense interest both from the public and the media regarding her disappearance, however, speculation, particularly on social media, about the aspects of the case are not helping our enquiry and is extremely distressing for Karen’s family and friends.

Karen and her family are really close. Speaking today, her father John, who along with his wife Marian travelled from their home in Cork yesterday, said:

“Karen is a sensible girl. She always keeps in contact with her family and friends to let them know where she is and what she is up to. To not return to her flat or be in contact with her pals - not responding to texts and calls to her mobile is very, very worrying as it is so out of character.

“We are extremely concerned for her. We are desperate to get her back and safe with her family - she is only our only daughter; we love her dearly and just want her to come home safe and sound.”

An incident room has been set up at Govan Police Office - anyone with information is asked to call officers via the 101 number and ask for the incident room. Information can also be passed in confidence to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Please do not rely on social media to provide information - call us instead.

Extra patrols will be in the West End and Kelvinside area, so please approach them if you have any information or concerns.