Gaynor Lord: Body found in search for missing Norwich mumon December 15, 2023 at 5:17 pm

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Police say they do not suspect any “third-party involvement” after divers recover a body.

Gaynor Lord in a carImage source, Norfolk Constabulary

Police who found a body in the search for missing Gaynor Lord do not suspect any “third-party involvement”.

Divers made the discovery on Friday morning in the River Wensum in Norwich – a week after the mother of three was last seen.

Formal identification has not taken place but the 55-year-old’s family has been informed.

Ch Supt Dave Buckley said it remained a missing persons inquiry.

He said: “Whilst we establish her identity, our thoughts are with Gaynor’s family at this difficult and distressing time.

“We have specialist family liaison officers supporting the family and keeping them updated with what we are doing at all stages.

“We remain open-minded to the circumstances of Gaynor’s disappearance and will continue to pursue all lines of inquiry to ascertain why she went missing.”

Dive teams in a boat on the river

Image source, PA Media

Ch Supt Buckley said: “I am keen to say that this remains a missing person inquiry at this stage. I am also satisfied, at the moment, based on the evidence we have, that Gaynor did not meet anybody on the way to the park and we now have a better understanding of her movements through the city centre.”

He said a post-mortem examination would now take place.

“I would reiterate at this stage, there is no evidence of third part involvement – nothing in our inquiries has changed this position,” he added.

Ch Supt Dave Buckley gives an update at a news conference outside Wensum Park

Image source, Maria Veronese/BBC

Ms Lord was reported missing after her belongings were found in Wensum Park.

Two members of the police dive team were seen recovering a body from the river after marking the area of water with an orange buoy.

Previous searches had focused on the river, close to the park where a member of the public reported seeing a woman matching Ms Lord’s description at about 16:00 GMT last Friday.

Members of the public laid flowers outside the park after it emerged a body had been found.

Site where body was recovered

Image source, PA Media

Ms Lord was reported missing after failing to return home from Jarrolds department store in Norwich where she worked on a gin counter as a retail assistant.

CCTV footage showed her leaving work more than an hour earlier than expected before hurrying through the city on foot.

She spent 33 minutes in the grounds of Norwich Cathedral before heading in the direction of Wensum Park via St Augustines Street.

Moments later, a member of the public reported seeing a woman matching Ms Lord’s description in the park doing a “yoga pose”.

Member of the public in a black jacket and wearing a red festive scarf leaves flowers outside Wensum Park

Image source, PA Media

Her friend, Julie Butcher, said Ms Lord phoned her at about 14:15 on the day she disappeared.

She told the BBC on Thursday that she “feels terrible” after cutting the conversation short to take a work call and was unable to reach her after that.

Ms Butcher, who spoke to officers on Saturday, also received a “pocket call” from Ms Lord at about 16:45.

“I keep going over the conversation. If I hadn’t answered that call [from the client] would she have talked to me? I feel terrible. I feel so sorry for the family,” she said.

A timeline of events around the disappearance of Gaynor Lord

On Thursday, police said there was a “high probability” that Ms Lord had entered the water and that her disappearance was “out of character”.

Her family will “continue to be supported” by specially trained officers, Norfolk police confirmed.

Ms Lord’s children had previously posted on social media and said “we want her home”.

Gaynor Lord at work

Image source, Norfolk Constabulary

A large search operation began on 8 December when her belongings, including clothing, two rings and a mobile phone were found scattered across Wensum Park.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue has been helping the search, assisted by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service’s specialist underwater drone.

Three types of sonar – a technique that uses sound to detect objects – have been used.

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