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Town's tears as mourners honour 'murdered' mum-of-two Katie Kenyon by wearing purple
20 May 2022, 12:13 | Updated: 20 May 2022, 12:39
Heartbroken mourners have gathered today to say their final goodbye to 'murdered' mum-of-two Katie Kenyon.
On Friday, more than 200 people wearing purple arrived in her home town of Padiham, Lancashire, to pay their respects to Ms Kenyon, 33, who vanished last month after leaving a home in Burnley with a man before travelling in a silver van.
The mother's body was found within the Forest of Bowland a week after she went missing.
Her family asked those attending proceedings at St Leonard's Church to wear her favourite colour.
A carriage, drawn by two white horses adorned with purple plumes, led the cortege to the church. On top of the carriage were floral tributes to "Katie" and "Mum".
A service to celebrate Katie's life is being held at St Leonard's Church in Padiham, before she is laid to rest in Burnley Cemetery.
Purple balloons were also attached outside the town centre church. A private burial service was to follow.
Ms Kenyon was last seen at around 9.30am on April 22, when it is thought she travelled in a silver Ford Transit van which left Burnley towards the Bolton-by-Bowland area of Lancashire.
More than 60 officers from four forces were drawn into a week-long search alongside the fire service, dog teams, mounted police, mountain rescue volunteers and drones.
Police officers discovered a body on the evening of April 29 in an area of the Forest of Bowland after receiving new information about where Ms Kenyon could be.
Read more: Body found in search for Katie Kenyon
Andrew Burfield, 50, from Burnley has appeared in court charged with her murder and faces trial in November.
A Home Office post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as 'head injuries'.
Katie's sister Sarah Kenyon previously said in a statement: "Katie's funeral will be held on Friday 20th May 2022 where a church service will be held at St Leonard’s church, Padiham at 10:30am.
"After the church service we will be following beautiful Katie up to Burnley cemetery, Rossendale Road, where Katie’s burial will be.
"After the burial, we will be making our way to Rosegrove Unity where we can celebrate Katie’s life and cherish all the memories each and everyone of us have, together. As a family we have requested everyone to wear purple (amethyst), Katie’s favourite colour or anything colourful for Katie’s day.
"If anyone is wanting to bring flowers we would like Katie be surrounded by her favourite flower, which are Lilies. If anyone Is wanting to kindly donate, we are asking for donations to go to St Leonard’s Church.
"Again we want to thank every single one of you for all the support, donations and love you have all shown and given and still giving! We are absolutely overwhelmed and feeling the love."