Fred West: Police find 'six voids' under cafe linked to missing girl Mary Bastholm

18 May 2021, 11:23 | Updated: 18 May 2021, 21:43

Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Police searching for a suspected victim of serial killer Fred West have found "six voids" under the Gloucester cafe linked to the missing girl.

On Monday, officers confirmed that excavation work would take place inside the Clean Plate cafe after they found "possible evidence" to suggest a body could be there.

Detectives have been examining if the cafe could be where the serial killer Fred West buried 15-year-old Mary Bastholm, who went missing in 1968 and may have been one of his victims.

Police have found 'six voids' under the cafe linked to missing girl Mary Bastholm
Police have found 'six voids' under the cafe linked to missing girl Mary Bastholm. Picture: PA

Forensic archaeologists working on the building on Monday confirmed the presence of "structural anomalies" in the cellar which require more investigation.

Detective Chief Inspector John Turner confirmed on Tuesday that excavation work will commence tomorrow and said it "could be we find Mary, it could be we find nothing… we may find other human remains" - in reference to Gloucester's long history and Roman past.

Read more: Police to excavate cafe after 'possible evidence' body is buried there

Read more: Police search cafe for remains of girl, 15, feared to be serial killer's victim

"We will be searching the basement to find out what, if anything, is there. If anything is found we will carry out a forensic review and we will look to seek people within the investigation that we need to interview," he said.

"If Fred were alive, undoubtedly he would be interviewed around the disappearance of Mary."

Police were called to the cafe on 7 May by a production company filming a documentary, which believed evidence of her remains had been found.

This included an image of blue material in one part of the cellar, with Mary having been reported as wearing a blue coat when she went missing.

On Tuesday, DCI Turner did not rule out interviewing convicted murderer Rosemary West about the disappearance of Mary Bastholm.

Read more: Police funding to blame for not searching cafe sooner, says Rose West's lawyer

Mary Bastholm is feared to have been a victim of Fred West
Mary Bastholm is feared to have been a victim of Fred West. Picture: PA

"What we are going to do is concentrate on the excavation within the basement," he said.

"As and when we know more, I will then consider whether people need to be interviewed and spoken to and Rose West may be one of those people."

West, who died in prison aged 53, was suspected over her disappearance.

Along with his wife Rose, who is serving a life sentence, West tortured, raped and murdered an unknown number of women over a 20-year-period.

He was charged with 12 murders but took his own life in a Birmingham jail before being put on trial. Rose was convicted of 10 murders in 1995.

Serial killer Fred West may have buried Mary Bastholm at the cafe
Serial killer Fred West may have buried Mary Bastholm at the cafe. Picture: PA

Mary's family issued a statement, which said: "Senior Investigating Officer John Turner has sat with us and explained the ongoing investigation as well as his intentions to excavate the cafe to try and find Mary.

"We are extremely happy Gloucestershire Constabulary is continuing to try and search for Mary and this gives us a chance to potentially put her at rest after all these years.

"We want to thank everyone who has wished us support through this distressing time, and we are continuing to be in close touch with the investigation team, and are being kept up to date with any new developments.

"We hope this is a chance to finally get closure for Mary and would like to continue to ask for privacy whilst the excavation is ongoing."