Wednesday 22 November 2017

Police confirm burnt-out car belongs to missing Catherine

Catherine's missing Irish-reg car
Police at a cordon on Pinfold Lane in Alltami, after a burned-out car which matched the description of Catherine Gowing's vehicle, was found close to her home. Photo: PA
Emma Gowing sister of missing Irish woman Catherine Gowing at a press conference yesterday in North Wales
Police at Catherine Gowing's home in New Brighton, near Mold

Mike Hornby

A burned-out car found in abandoned in a country lane belongs to missing vet Catherine Gowing.

Ms Gowing, 37, from Clonee, Co Offaly, has been missing since she failed to arrive at work at the Evans Veterinary Practice in Mold, North Wales, on Monday.

North Wales Police said today that a five-door Renault Clio found last night in Pinfold Lane, Alltami, near Mold, had been identified as the missing Irish woman's car.

A 46-year-old man from Gwynedd remains in police custody after being arrested on suspicion of her murder on Tuesday night.

The car was found at about 7.15pm yesterday after a member of the public contacted police.

It was around two miles from Ms Gowing's home in New Brighton, Flintshire.

The last recorded sighting of her was at a supermarket in Queensferry last Friday evening and officers have been scouring CCTV and carrying out a forensic examination of her home as they try to establish her whereabouts.

Detective Superintendent John Hanson said a cordon around the car would remain in place for some time as a "dynamic" search takes place.

"The Clio was found in an isolated area of Pinfold Lane, close to a disused quarry surrounded by woodland and near to the quarry pool," he said.

"The vehicle is completely burnt-out.

"There are extensive North Wales Police resources, including some of our specialist resources like the dogs and the underwater search team.

"We are being supported by specialist search teams and advisers who have been drawn from across the UK."

Mr Hanson said specialist search teams were examining two other locations in North Wales which have not been identified.

"House to house inquiries continue and we continue to view CCTV footage, examine mobile phones and other technical data."

He said the last positive sighting of Ms Gowing remained the CCTV footage at Asda and he believed she never returned home over the weekend.

Ms Gowing's family were described as "distraught". "They are looking for any news as to where Catherine might be," he said.

"They are extremely grateful for the public's response and they are relieved that the vehicle has been found, but by the same token they have still got no answers as to where Catherine is at this moment in time."

Appearing at a press conference yesterday, Ms Gowing's sister Emma broke down in tears as she asked the public for help in tracking down her sister.

She said: "We are desperate to hear any news of Catherine's whereabouts.

"Please look, please search, please help us find our beautiful sister."

Evans Veterinary Practice owner David Evans has revealed that a text message was sent from Ms Gowing's phone after she was last seen alive.

But her phone only sent half the message over the weekend to a nurse who worked with her.

Ms Gowing is known to have missed a weekend appointment but the alarm was not raised until Monday morning when she failed to arrive at work.

Mr Evans said Ms Gowing had worked at the practice for 18 months and described her as a "very caring, dear person".

"She was very popular not only with clients but with the staff," he added.

She left work at the surgery in Clayton Road, Mold, at about 7pm on Friday and was then seen at Asda in Queensferry at 8.06pm before leaving at 8.39pm.

She was wearing blue jeans, a light brown/khaki zip-up fleece top with white sleeves and white side panels, and plain black flat shoes. Her brown hair was tied up.

She is about 5ft 10in, of slim, athletic build. Ms Gowing was also carrying a bright brown saddle bag over her shoulder and across her body and was carrying an Asda plastic bag and a pizza-type box.

Police believe she drove home to Cae Isa, New Brighton, in her work car, a Vauxhall Corsa, which was recovered earlier.

Police were yesterday granted a 36-hour extension to question the suspect, who is known to frequent the New Brighton area and is known to Ms Gowing.

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