Monday 5 December 2016

Police comb park for missing Irish student Karen Buckley

Karen last seen at 4am close to location where her handbag was found

Published 15/04/2015 | 02:30

POLICE searching for missing Irish student Karen Buckley believe a grey car may hold the key to solving the mystery of her disappearance.

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The 24-year-old's "desperate" parents made the trip from Co Cork to Glasgow where they made an emotional appeal for information on their vanished daughter.

A major police search including helicopter support last night moved into parkland in the city, near where her handbag was found dumped in a bin.

Attention also moved outside Glasgow where a grey car has been spotted "a number of times since Monday" and may be linked to the case.

John and Marian Buckley at a press briefing at Govan Police station for the whereabouts of their daughter Karen who went missing in Glasgow
John and Marian Buckley at a press briefing at Govan Police station for the whereabouts of their daughter Karen who went missing in Glasgow
Police search a house on Dorchester avenue Glasgow that missing Irish student Karen Buckley may have gone after leaving the Sanctuary nightclub on Dumbarton Road, Glagow. Pic:Mark Condren 14.4.2015
Police search the area near a house on Dorchester avenue Glasgow that missing Irish student Karen Buckley may have gone after leaving the Sanctuary nightclub on Dumbarton Road, Glasgow
Police search a house on Dorchester avenue Glasgow that missing Irish student Karen Buckley may have gone after leaving the Sanctuary nightclub on Dumbarton Road, Glasgow.
Police seal off an area around a bin after missing Irish student Karen Buckley's handbag was found
Police seal off an area around a bin after missing Irish student Karen Buckley handbag was found
Police search for Karen Buckley
Police search a house on Dorchester avenue Glasgow that missing Irish student Karen Buckley may have gone after leaving the Sanctuary nightclub on Dumbarton Road, Glagow.
John and Marian Buckley at a press briefing at Govan Police Office for the whereabouts of their daughter Karen who went missing in Glasgow. Photo: Mark Condren

Officers admitted they were "extremely concerned" for the young woman who has been described as a "sensible girl".

The investigation took on a new emphasis following the discovery of Karen's bag, near the house where she spent several hours with a man in the early hours of Sunday.

But police stressed that the man, who was seen with her on CCTV outside a Glasgow nightclub, is not a suspect in the case. The pair were spotted as Karen left The Sanctuary on Dumbarton Road in the city's West End shortly after 1am.

Detective Superintendent Jim Kerr has said that Karen "wasn't under duress" when leaving the popular nightclub.

He added: "The CCTV shows Karen talking with a number of males in the nightclub.

"There were two that we wanted to talk to, and we tracked them down and they are helping us with our queries."

Karen Buckley
A police officer searches the undergrowth in Dawsholm Park in Glasgow after the handbag which police believe belongs to missing student Karen Buckley was found early this afternoon. Photo credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
A police officer searches the undergrowth in Dawsholm Park in Glasgow after the handbag which police believe belongs to missing student Karen Buckley was found early this afternoon. Photo credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
A police officer searches the undergrowth in Dawsholm Park in Glasgow after the handbag which police believe belongs to missing student Karen Buckley was found early this afternoon. Photo credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

One of the men told the police that Karen came home with him, but she left his flat at around 4am and was planning to walk home to Hill Street in the Garnethill area.

Karen's mother, Marian (61) and father John (62) made an emotional appeal at yesterday's press briefing in the Scottish city.

"We just want Karen home safely," said her mother. "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."

Police outside Dawsholm Park in Glasgow where the handbag which police believe belongs to missing student Karen Buckley was found early this afternoon. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Police outside Dawsholm Park in Glasgow where the handbag which police believe belongs to missing student Karen Buckley was found early this afternoon. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
A Police officer looks over a police cordon round dumped rubbish at the rear of the building in Dorchester Avenue in Glasgow which contains the flat which was visited by missing student Karen Buckley in the early hours of Sunday. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Police outside the building in Dorchester Avenue in Glasgow which comta9nsthe flat which was visited by missing student Karen Buckley in the early hours of Sunday. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
General view of Dawsholm Park in Glasgow where the handbag which police believe belongs to missing student Karen Buckley was found early this afternoon. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Police outside Dawsholm Park in Glasgow where the handbag which police believe belongs to missing student Karen Buckley was found early this afternoon. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Police outside Dawsholm Park in Glasgow where the handbag which police believe belongs to missing student Karen Buckley was found early this afternoon. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
General view of Dawsholm Park in Glasgow where the handbag which police believe belongs to missing student Karen Buckley was found early this afternoon. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
A police officer looks out from the building in Dorchester Avenue in Glasgow which contains the flat which was visited by missing student Karen Buckley in the early hours of Sunday. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Police at the rear of the building in Dorchester Avenue in Glasgow which contains the flat which was visited by missing student Karen Buckley in the early hours of Sunday. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
A police officer looks out from the building in Dorchester Avenue in Glasgow which contains the flat which was visited by missing student Karen Buckley in the early hours of Sunday. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
General view of The Sanctuary nightclub in Dumbarton Road, Glasgow where student Karen Buckley seen on CCTV footage in the early hours of Sunday morning talking to a man before she went missing. Paul Ward/PA Wire
A police officer walks through Dawsholm Park in Glasgow where the handbag which police believe belongs to missing student Karen Buckley was found early this afternoon. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Police outside Dawsholm Park in Glasgow where the handbag which police believe belongs to missing student Karen Buckley was found early this afternoon. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Police stand next to a bin at the entrance of Dawsholm Park in Glasgow where the handbag which police believe belongs to missing student Karen Buckley was found early this afternoon. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Police officers in Dawsholm Park in Glasgow where the handbag which police believe belongs to missing student Karen Buckley was found early this afternoon. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Police officers in Dawsholm Park in Glasgow where the handbag which police believe belongs to missing student Karen Buckley was found early this afternoon. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
A police officer searches the undergrowth in Dawsholm Park in Glasgow after the handbag which police believe belongs to missing student Karen Buckley was found early this afternoon. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
A police officer searches the undergrowth in Dawsholm Park in Glasgow after the handbag which police believe belongs to missing student Karen Buckley was found early this afternoon. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
A police officer searches the undergrowth in Dawsholm Park in Glasgow after the handbag which police believe belongs to missing student Karen Buckley was found early this afternoon. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
A dog walker passes a police officer at the entrance to Dawsholm Park in Glasgow where the handbag which police believe belongs to missing student Karen Buckley was found early this afternoon. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Police officers in Dawsholm Park in Glasgow where the handbag which police believe belongs to missing student Karen Buckley was found early this afternoon. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
A police helicopter flies over Dawsholm Park in Glasgow after the handbag which police believe belongs to missing student Karen Buckley was found early this afternoon. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Police walk along Dorchester Avenue in Glasgow as they are searching a park and an area around a block of flats for any trace of Irish student Karen Buckley who has been missing for three days. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Police search garages and the surrounding areas near a block of flats in Dorchester Avenue in Glasgow for any trace of Irish student Karen Buckley who has been missing for three days. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Police forensic officers search the rear gardens of a block of flats in Dorchester Avenue in Glasgow for any trace of Irish student Karen Buckley who has been missing for three days. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Police forensic officers search a block of flats in Dorchester Avenue in Glasgow for any trace of Irish student Karen Buckley who has been missing for three days. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Police search garages near a block of flats near Dorchester Avenue in Glasgow for any trace of Irish student Karen Buckley who has been missing for three days. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Police search garages near a block of flats near Dorchester Avenue in Glasgow for any trace of Irish student Karen Buckley who has been missing for three days. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
A police forensic officer searches the rear gardens of a block of flats in Dorchester Avenue in Glasgow for any trace of Irish student Karen Buckley who has been missing for three days. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Police forensic officers search a block of flats in Dorchester Avenue in Glasgow for any trace of Irish student Karen Buckley who has been missing for three days. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Police forensic officers search the rear gardens of a block of flats in Dorchester Avenue in Glasgow for any trace of Irish student Karen Buckley who has been missing for three days. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Police search garages and the surrounding areas near a block of flats in Dorchester Avenue in Glasgow for any trace of Irish student Karen Buckley who has been missing for three days. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Police search garages and the surrounding areas near a block of flats in Dorchester Avenue in Glasgow for any trace of Irish student Karen Buckley who has been missing for three days. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Police search garages and the surrounding areas near a block of flats in Dorchester Avenue in Glasgow for any trace of Irish student Karen Buckley who has been missing for three days. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Police block a road near Windyhill Golf club, Glasgow, as they search for any trace of Irish student Karen Buckley who has been missing for three days. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Police at the entrance to High Craigton Farm in Glasgow during the search for Irish student Karen Buckley who has been missing for three days. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Police at the entrance to High Craigton Farm in Glasgow during the search for Irish student Karen Buckley who has been missing for three days. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Police Forensic officers at the front door of a block of flats in Dorchester Avenue in Glasgow, as they search for any trace of Irish student Karen Buckley who has been missing for three days. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Her father added: "Like Marian said, if anybody is holding Karen or anybody knows anything about her, just please return her.

"Just give her back, we love her to bits. We're devastated. Thank you."

The couple travelled from the north Cork village of Mourneabbey while her brother Kieran (28) is on his way from Sydney to be with his parents. She has two other older brothers, Damian (32) and Brendan (26).

Det Supt Kerr added that the CCTV footage didn't reveal any violence or struggle between Karen and the man she left with. It appears the man left the nightclub first and was followed outside by Karen - who did not bring her coat with her.

He drove Karen to his apartment on Dorchester Avenue.

He claims it took him 10 minutes to make the two-mile journey back to his home.

Police said that, according to the man, they were intimate before she left at 4am.

Det Supt Kerr said that it "would not be a rare occurrence" for her to walk home after a night out.

Despite not being named a suspect, police cordoned off the property.

Later, the occupational therapy student's bag was discovered close by.

It is believed a member of the public spotted the item in a bin near an entrance to Dawsholm Park. A secluded entranceway was sealed off by police a short time later.

Air support units and foot patrols scoured the park yesterday, but their search had uncovered nothing as night fell.

Det Supt Kerr said that Police Scotland are still viewing the investigation as a "missing person" case and are following a number of leads.

"We have received a large number of calls reporting sightings of Karen and also a large number in relation to sightings of a suspicious car.

"We are not yet sure if the two are connected but want to rule them out," he added.

Police say they are interested in "following up on" a grey car spotted in remote locations outside Glasgow city.

"It has been seen in a rural area around Milngavie a number of times since Monday; we are not sure what it is doing out there."

Karen's friends raised the alarm at 5pm on Sunday after they had failed to hear from her.

They had been drinking at home before heading to the nightclub just before midnight on Saturday, but stressed that Karen was not drunk when she told them she was going to the toilet before she disappeared.

Irish Independent

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