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Burned-out car is found in search for missing Catherine

WELSH police probing the murder of Irish woman Catherine Gowing have discovered a burned-out Renault Clio which they believe belongs to the Irish woman.

It's emerged that officers received a phone call from a member of the public who discovered the vehicle two miles from Catherine's home.

Police are expected to confirm later today that the car belongs to Catherine who has been missing since Friday.

The car was discovered just after 7.15pm last night in a laneway two miles outside of New Brighton. Det Supt John Hanson stated that tests will be carried out to establish the vehicle's “true identity”.

“The area has been cordoned off and forensically secured and an examination of the vehicle and immediate area continues to establish the vehicle's true identity and secure any evidence which may assist us find Catherine,” he said.

“Catherine is still missing and her last known sighting is at 8.39pm on Friday October 12, 2012 when she was seen on CCTV leaving Asda Supermarket in Queensferry,” he added.

Sources have indicated that clues found in the vehicle could be “crucial” in progressing the investigation.

The news comes amid fresh revelations about what is believed to have happened to Catherine in the lead up to when she went missing.

The only suspect in the Offaly vet's disappearance seized his opportunity when he learned she would be on her own as her flatmate was away, police say.

Catherine's flatmate Jane Doyle was visiting her family in Co Meath last weekend and police believe the suspect became aware of this.

It's thought the missing 37-year-old woman, who is feared dead, was stalked by the alleged killer, who she had only known for four months.

Last night, police investigating Catherine's disappearance issued CCTV footage of Catherine in a supermarket near her home in Mold, North Wales. Sources have revealed that detectives are focusing on the suspect's “movements” and believe that he spent time alone with Catherine in her flat in Mold, North Wales.

A source explained: “This man's movements are extremely important. He was aware that Catherine was on her own in the apartment and may have taken advantage of that.”

Speaking to the Herald today, a police spokesman emphasised that Catherine was “not in a relationship of any sort or kind” with the man in custody.

The spokesperson also confirmed that the man in custody is the prime suspect. “We are not currently looking for anyone else in relation to this investigation.”

The disturbing new revelations come following heartrending pleas from Catherine's distraught family.

Her devastated sister Emma - who is currently in Wales - broke down in tears as she described Catherine as “our shining light”.

“Please look, please search, please help us find our beautiful sister. Catherine is a kind, sensitive, beautiful person. She's my best friend, she's the light of my life and she's the light of my parents' life,” she said.

Meanwhile, her community in Offaly will hold a special mass tonight “to pray for Catherine”. Her parish priest, Fr Michael O'Meara, said that it was being organised to show support to the Gowing family.