Police extend search in bid to find Burnley teacher now missing for nine days

Police are continuing to search for Lindsay Birbeck, who lives in Accrington but teaches in Burnley, since she disappeared nine days ago.
Police are continuing to search for Lindsay Birbeck, who lives in Accrington but teaches in Burnley, since she disappeared nine days ago.

Police have extended their search in a bid to find missing teacher Lindsay Birbeck who has not been seen for nine days.

Yesterday searches took place at Huncoat Quarry and the surrounding area in addition to The Coppice in Accrington.

Lindsay (47), who teaches at a school in Burnley and lives in Huncoat, was last seen on CCTV footage showing at around 4-10pm on Monday, August 12th in the Burnley Road area walking in the direction of Accrington.

A witness has described having a conversation with a lady matching Lindsay's description at the top of Peel Park Avenue at 4.30pm.

Ongoing CCTV inquiries have discovered that the time of this encounter was in fact nearer to 6.30pm.

A police spokesman said: "This was a genuine mistake by a witness trying their very best to help."

Police are also still keen to trace a man walking a Labrador in the area at that time.

The man is described as a white man, aged in his late 40s, 5ft 6in tall, of medium build with short dark hair and wearing glasses. He is believed to have been wearing a dark jacket or coat and was walking a small black Labrador.

It is also believed there may have been a couple in the same area, each walking a dog.

The couple are described as a white male aged in his late 20s, wearing casual clothes walking a mottled effect Bull Mastiff type dog and a white woman aged late 20s also wearing casual clothes and walking a stocky white Staffordshire bull terrier type dog.

A number of specialist resources including dogs, mounted, police, mountain and underwater rescue search teams, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and drones continue to look for Lindsay. Officers have also been handing out leaflets and speaking to members of the public in the area.

The public have turned out in force to search for Lindsay and a social media page devoted to finding her and sharing information has over 13,000 members.

Detective Inspector Tim McDermott, said officers had been overwhelmed by the support and dedication shown by the public in search but he has asked that volunteers stay away from the quarry area.

He said: "The terrain here is extremely dangerous. Our officers and search teams are equipped and trained to explore such areas but we would urge members of the public to stick to public footpaths and main roads only.

"We understand you want to help, but your safety has to be our priority.

"Officers have had a number of items handed to them over recent days and we appreciate this but would please ask you not to collect things you find.

"If you come across something you think may be significant to the investigation, please don't touch it but report it to us or flag down a nearby officer."

Police are now treating Lindsay's last sighting as at 6-30pm not 4-30pm on Monday, August 12th, and they would like to speak to a dog walker and a couple who were also walking dogs in the area around the same time as Lindsay as they could hold vital information.

Lindsay was last seen wearing a purple Rab bubble jacket, black leggings, a white shirt with blue pin stripes and black trainers with a white sole.

She had an Huawei phone with her which is still missing.

Lindsay has links to Accrington and Burnley, as well as Kendal in Cumbria.

Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting log 0016 of August 13. For immediate sightings please call 999.