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Police searching for Catherine find partial remains in local pond

POLICE will intensify their search efforts today after finding only partial remains in the search for missing vet Catherine Gowing.

They will continue to comb the area surrounding a shallow pond in a north Wales field where human remains were located.

Ms Gowing, from Clonlee, near Birr in Co Offaly, has been missing for three weeks and Welshman Clive Sharp (46) from Bethesda has been charged with her murder.

Her family are anxiously awaiting more news from North Wales Police, but said that they hoped the find would lead to them getting some closure.

The remains were found close to a council estate in the Welsh border town of Sealand, about 200 metres from the home of Mr Sharp's stepfather.

The town is only 2km from the Asda supermarket where Ms Gowing was last seen, having been spotted on CCTV at 8.40pm on Friday, October 12.

It is about 10km from Mold, the town that Ms Gowing (37) had made her home after finding work at a local vet.

A spokesman for North Wales Police said: "Following information received by the public, recent searches have focused on fields in Manor Road, Sealand. Yesterday, search team officers discovered human remains in a shallow pool within the field known locally as the Lum. Those remains have yet to be formally identified as this will require medical as well as forensic examination.

"At this time we are not able to comment further. However, Catherine Gowing's family have been informed of this distressing development and clearly our thoughts are with them at this very difficult time."

Catherine's sister Emma Gowing, who has been in Wales since the search began, rushed back to be with her parents after they received the distressing news.

She and her husband Shay Maguire had vowed to stay in Wales until her sister was found, but last night the couple were at the Gowing household.

Her mother Maureen told the Irish Independent: "I don't really know much more... I'm at sixes and sevens here at the moment and I don't know what to say."

Ms Gowing's uncle Edward said he hoped that the discovery would bring some closure to the family.

Praying

Local parish priest Fr Michael O'Meara stressed that Welsh police had not yet confirmed definitively that the remains belonged to Ms Gowing.

He said: "We're praying for Catherine's family. It's just such a traumatic time for them."

Ms Gowing had been living in New Brighton near Mold with another Irish vet, Jane Doyle, who had been in a relationship with Clive Sharp.

The murder suspect's step-father John Whyte lives yards from where the remains were found.

Mr Whyte previously told the Irish Independent that he had not had much contact with Mr Sharp in recent years, but was now planning on leaving the area. "I can't stay here. I think I'm going to have to leave my home and go abroad. I've lost everything now. What's there left to live for. I just want to die," said Mr Whyte.

Dozens of police officers on site included forensic experts and the same team of divers who were involved in the search for five-year-old April Jones who went missing in mid-Wales a month ago.

\[pedoyle\]A single, white tent marked the spot where human remains had been discovered in the search for Ms Gowing.\[pedoyle\]The large patch of land is ploughed, but also has an area of overgrown shrubbery with a small pond in the middle. It is here that the remains were found.

Irish Independent