'Please look, please search, help find my beautiful sister'
EMMA Gowing's husband took a tissue from a packet and placed it in front of his wife, perhaps in anticipation of the difficult moments ahead.
Shay Maguire clutched her hand as they listened to Detective Superintendent John Hanson outline north Wales Police's efforts to find missing Catherine Gowing (37).
And Emma maintained a brave face as the senior officer told how they had asked for more time to question a Welshman -- the man they have arrested on suspicion of her sister's murder.
Behind a bank of microphones, the couple sat silent as Mr Hanson pointed out newly-released CCTV images of Catherine's last known movements at an ASDA in Queensferry near her adopted Welsh home.
But when Emma was given her own opportunity to speak, she made no reference to fears that her sister has been killed.
Instead, she begged locals in that quiet community for their help in finding the popular vet.
Speaking for her elderly parents at home in Co Offaly, she began haltingly, saying: "We are all so deeply shocked by the events that have unfolded in the last four days.
"Catherine's disappearance has left us all bereft. We are lost without her. We are desperate to hear any news of Catherine's whereabouts."
Her voice cracked, but she held her emotions in check as she continued to read her prepared statement.
Emma reiterated the police's urgent appeal for help in locating Catherine's purple Renault Clio.
She said: "I'd implore the local community to do all they can to help us find her. Look out of your windows, look as you drive or head to work. Check your local street, car parks, garages, waste land or anywhere a car may be left."
But emotion crept into her voice as she looked directly at the cameras and begged: "Please look, please search and please help us find my beautiful sister.
"Catherine is a kind, sensitive, beautiful person. She is passionate about animals and utterly devoted to her family.
"She is my best friend and the light of my life and my parents' lives."
The anguish of not knowing what has happened to her sister was obvious as she concluded: "If you have any information about Catherine, however trivial, please call the police."
Her husband comforted her as she stood to leave the room. Her brave appeal over, she finally allowed the tears to flow.