Gaynor Lord detectives have 'some indications' why missing mum left work early as friend says she received 'pocket dial'

15 December 2023, 01:26 | Updated: 15 December 2023, 16:18

A friend has revealed she received two phone calls from Gaynor Lord before her disappearance.
A friend has revealed she received two phone calls from Gaynor Lord before her disappearance. Picture: Norfolk Police

By Emma Soteriou

Detectives searching for missing Gaynor Lord have "some indications" as to why she left work early on the day she vanished.

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The 55-year-old mother disappeared on Friday after leaving her job at a Norwich gin outlet early at 2:45pm.

Her belongings were found across Wensum Park as police comb the area and divers search through the river there.

Police said they were unable to establish with "any degree of confidence" Ms Lords state of mind when she went missing.

Speaking at the park, Chief Superintendent Dave Buckley of Norfolk Police said it will take "a couple of days" to complete a search of the stretch of river.

"Everything we know is pointing to a high probability that Gaynor went into the water," he said.

Mr Buckley explained: "We've got some indications as to why she behaved the way in which she did but what we're doing is we're just working backwards now to actually truly understand what may have taken place.

"We're just cautious of everything we know at the moment because clearly we've ended up in the situation we have, which is not usual."

Read more: Gaynor Lord's husband 'in bits' as family perplexed at why missing mother visited Norwich Cathedral

Read more: Haunting last picture of missing mum Gaynor Lord released as police say they still don't know why she left work early

It comes after a friend of Ms Lord said she received two calls from the missing mum on the day of her disappearance - one just minutes after she was last seen on CCTV.

Julie Butcher said she received the first call at 2:15pm, half an hour before Ms Lord left her place of work.

Ms Lord phoned asking where Ms Butcher was.

“I said 'I'm at home' and I explained I was sorting out the internet and my phone rang and it was one of my clients and I had to speak to them. I said I would call her back and she said ‘yes’.”

Ms Butcher said she then tried to phone the mother-of-three back a few minutes later but wasn’t able to get through.

She said then tried again later but got through to voicemail, so followed up with. WhatsApp message to let her know she was free.

An image of Gaynor Lord leaving work on Friday before her disappearance.
An image of Gaynor Lord leaving work on Friday before her disappearance. Picture: Norfolk Police

Police release CCTV of last known sighting of Gaynor Lord as hunt continues

Read more: Missing mum Gaynor Lord ‘performed yoga pose in park’ moments before she disappeared, eyewitnesses say

“I think she was still at work when she called me, I don't know. But maybe that's why she couldn't answer,” she told the BBC.

She then received a second call from Ms Lord at 4:15pm, 15 minutes after she was last seen on CCTV, but said it “sounded like a pocket call” as she “could hear movement in her pocket”.

“I keep going over the conversation,” Ms Butcher said. “If I hadn't answered that call [from her client] would she have talked to me? I feel terrible. I feel so sorry for the family.

“It's not like Gaynor to do this”.

It comes after it was revealed on Thursday evening that Gaynor Lord's husband Clive is "in bits" following his wife’s disappearance.

Susan Sinclair, 66, told The Sun of her brother - Ms Lord's husband: "Clive is in bits, obviously, but he's got his two daughters there supporting him.

A friend of Ms Lord said she received a pocket call from the mum.
A friend of Ms Lord said she received a pocket call from the mum. Picture: Norfolk Police

"Our other brother Simon, like me, is just hoping for good news. We're all just very shocked.

"There's nothing we can do at the moment except hope that she’s found safe and well."

Ms Lord’s family are said to be confused at some of her final movements that were recorded before she vanished.

CCTV showed Ms Lord rushing through Norwich city centre on Friday afternoon, trying to cross busy roads, before she heads to the park.

She had left work at Bullards Gin, in Jarrold's department store, early.

Ms Lord spent about half an hour in Norwich Cathedral - but that has perplexed her loved ones.

Ms Sinclair said: "I don't know why she would have been at the cathedral.

"It was sort of the right direction towards home, rather than the park which is in the opposite direction. She has a religion but she's not particularly religious.

"The worrying bit is that she's discarded some clothing, apart from her phone and the jewellery. That's a bad sign - especially in the cold and after all this time."

Ms Lord was last seen at 4pm.

While police have no information suggesting third-party involvement in her disappearance, detectives are probing whether she met with someone at the cathedral.

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