The search for Catherine continuescrimestoppers logo

20/11/2012North Wales Police investigating the murder of Mold vet Catherine Gowing continue to search despite human remains already discovered in Sealand and the banks of the River Dee being identified as Catherine’s.


Senior Investigating Officer DCI Mark Pierce said “Whilst we are still receiving information about possible sightings of Catherine, the vehicles involved and Sharpe we will continue in our endeavours.  Searches will continue whilst there are active lines of enquiry to pursue and that is why I am still appealing for further information and looking for further witnesses to come forward” 


Sergeant Neil Parkes, North Wales Police search advisor is coordinating the searches and he gave an insight into the scale and scope he and his colleagues have encountered over the last five weeks. 


“The search for Catherine Gowing is the largest search operation conducted by North Wales Police.  The terrain thus far has been extremely challenging involving large areas of woodland, disused quarries, water courses, cess pits and other open areas.  We are also searching houses and vehicles with each receiving its own sequential search sector.


“To date there have been over 30 individual search areas comprising over 90 separate search sectors.  Some areas such as, for example ‘Quarry 1’ have been so large that they have comprised 12 separate search sectors.


“In addition 15 separate water course have been searched involving ponds and lakes of various sizes, including the River Dee on the Cheshire border.  These searches have been completed by the North West Under Water Search Unit.  Further support has been received from both Police and private sector dog handlers in addition to the Force helicopter which has been used to provide an aerial search and photographic facility.  We are being fully supported by our colleagues in Cheshire Police who provided specialist search officers.


“The search strategy is quality assessed on a regular basis by the National Search Centre from the National Policing Improvement Agency.  This is to ensure that the correct decisions are made and that search areas continue to be based around intelligence and are systematic in their completion. 


“To date, i.e. Tuesday 20th November there have been over 40 specially trained Police officers working over a 25 day period.  Approximately 15 officers are being deployed on a daily basis which assisted by Cheshire Police providing a team of 20 officers for two weeks equates to a total of over 6250 search hours.  However this total does not include significant commitments from air support and the under water search unit. ”


“Our searches are based in part on information and intelligence received from members of the public.  Fresh information continues to generate further search areas, for example since last Thursday 15th November and up to today the Underwater Search Team Unit have been searching another sector within Pinfold Lane, Alltami”


PS Parkes concluded “Despite the scale, scope and very often difficult terrain the team have remained very positive and we are determined to do the best we can.   The visit by Catherine’s family was very humbling and their inspiration and strength has been a real driving force for us”


DCI Pierce added “Catherine’s family are being fully updated with all developments.  Together with Sgt Parkes and a Family Liaison Officer Det Sgt Thomas we visited the family home in Co Offaly last Thursday (15th November) and gave the extended family a comprehensive break down of the investigation.   Emma and her family are enormously grateful to the public of north Wales and asked me to convey their heart felt gratitude.  They understand the importance of any information no matter how insignificant it may appear and are once more reaching out to local community for assistance”


DCI Pierce repeated his appeal for any information regarding any sightings of Catherine Gowing’s Irish registered Renault Clio 00D 99970 and Clive Sharp’s black Volvo S40 AG58 JHE since Friday 12th October and particularly in the Sealand and River Dee areas. 


Catherine Gowing has not been seen since approximately 8.40pm on Friday 12th October 2012 when she was sighted on CCTV leaving Asda Supermarket in Queensferry.  Since that time 46 year old Clive Sharp has been charged with her murder. 


Anyone one with information about sightings or any suspicious activity in the Sealand area is asked to call North Wales Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.