The investigation has developed at a quick pace since Katie (33) was reported missing from home several days ago.
A 50-year-old man, originally arrested on suspicion of kidnap, has been further arrested on suspicion of the murder of Katie, while searches involving several agencies continue.
What has happened?
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Police believe that at about 9-30am on Friday, April 22nd, a woman matching Katie’s description left an address in Todmorden Road, Burnley, with a man and travelled in the silver Ford Transit, registration MT57 FLC, to the Bolton by Bowland area. She has not been seen since.
A man arrested on suspicion of Katie’s kidnap was on Tuesday evening further arrested on suspicion of her murder.
While Katie has not yet been found, and the search for her is continuing, detectives are now working on the basis that she is no longer alive.
The enquiry has now shifted form a missing from home to a homicide investigation.
Searches have been conducted in Todmorden Road, Bolton by Bowland and in Gisburn Forest. The search teams now number more than 60 trained search officers from Lancashire, North Wales, Merseyside and GMP, with specialist dogs, a plane and other specialist search equipment being used.
What have police said?
Det. Supt Gary Brooks, Lancashire Police’s Head of Major Crime, said: “While I hold some slim hope that Katie may still be found alive I’m sad to say that Katie has now been missing for over four days. Despite extensive police enquiries and media appeals we have not found Katie nor have there been any sightings of Katie.”
Katie is described as white, 5ft 9in., with shoulder length strawberry blond/ginger hair. She was last seen wearing a blue shirt/jacket and white top, black leggings and flip flops.
Anyone with information should call police on 101 quoting log 800 of April 24th or through the Major Incident Public Portal at https://mipp.police.uk/operation/0401020119P01-PO1
What happens next?
Detectives made a further application to Burnley Magistrates Court to continue the suspect’s detention to 9pm on Wednesday.