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Gaynor Lord missing: Live updates as search for missing mum enters day seven

15 December 2023, 05:11

Gaynor Lord has been missing for seven days
Gaynor Lord has been missing for seven days. Picture: Norfolk Police

Police are searching for missing mum Gaynor Lord who disappeared last Friday after leaving work in Norwich.

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Ms Lord's belongings, including clothing, two rings, a mobile phone and glasses, were found scattered in Wensum Park - around 1.5 miles from her workplace.

Her coat was discovered in the River Wensum, which runs through the park.

It emerged on Thursday that witnesses saw her in the park before she disappeared, doing ‘yoga moves’.

Her step-brother has said that her disappearance was ‘out of character’.

Follow the latest developments

No formal identification yet but Gaynor Lord's family informed

Norfolk Constabulary said: "Police searching for missing Norwich woman Gaynor Lord can confirm a body has been found in the River Wensum. 

"While the body hasn't formally been identified, Gaynor's family have been informed. They continue to be supported by specially trained officers."

Police searching for Ms Lord have found a body in the river

Gaynor Lord 'felt off' before she went missing, says colleague

Gaynor Lord was feeling "off" at work on the Friday she disappeared, a colleague has said.

Ms Lord, who has been missing since December 8, said she "felt funny" that day at the Jarrolds department store, the shop assistant told the Sun.

“She shook her hands as she said it but I didn’t think much of it," the woman said.

Police move search area along the river

On Friday, a police dive team working on the search were seen checking a specific part of the River Wensum, with an orange buoy placed to mark the spot.

An Environment Agency search boat was positioned next to the buoy as a truck for the dive team entered.

Two divers were seen looking at the area, and seemed to be checking if the water was safe to enter.

The search area has moved from Thursday: the buoy was placed about 100 metres downstream from where the previous work had taken place.

Police divers with flippers could be seen ready to go into the water further along the river but after getting a phone call was received, their kit was packed up and they got back in their truck.

Retracing Gaynor Lord's steps - including a gap of 26 minutes in the timeline

What will police do today?

Police plan to continue looking in the River Wensum on Friday, based on their theory that Ms Lord entered the water.

Norfolk Constabulary chief superintendent James Buckley said on Thursday that the search could take "a couple of days" or longer.

 He said: "It's very, very challenging - the river is very, very full of water with all the rain, full of lots of debris. 

"The divers can see about one foot in front of them.

"So it's an extraordinarily challenging environment for them to work in."

Gaynor Lord's friend 'feels terrible' she ended last call because she was busy

Julie Butcher says she feels "terrible" that she told Gaynor Lord she would call her back when her friend rang her the afternoon she disappeared.

Ms Lord called her friend at about 2.15 on December 8, but Ms Butcher was busy with a client and said she would ring back. 

Ms Lord never answered the returned call, although Ms Butcher got a pocket dial from her later that afternoon.

Ms Butcher said: "I keep going over the conversation. 

"If I hadn't answered that call would she have talked to me? I feel terrible. I feel so sorry for the family."

Timeline of events since Gaynor Lord went missing

  • Friday, December 8 at 4:01pm: Ms Lord was last seen on CCTV on St Augustines Street in central Norwich
  • Friday evening: Ms Lord is reported missing after she doesn't come home from work. 
  • Friday evening: Ms Lord's belongings are found in Wensum Park and the park is closed off
  • Monday, December 11: Police deploy drones and specialist search teams to hunt for Ms Lord in the area of the park, but come up with nothing
  • Tuesday, December 12: Police start focusing on underwater searches in the River Wensum
  • Wednesday, December 13: CCTV released of Ms Lord walking through Norwich city centre shortly before she disappeared 
  • Thursday, December 14: Police continue to search the river and say they 'have some indications' of why she left work early

Timeline of Gaynor Lord's disappearance

2:15pm: Ms Lord's friend Julie Butcher gets a call from her, but is busy and says she will call her back.

2:22-2:23pm: Ms Butcher calls Ms Lord back, but gets no response. She also texts her on WhatsApp, but hears nothing.

2:44pm: Ms Lord is seen working at the Bullards Gin counter in the basement at Jarrold department store in Norwich - wearing a white shirt overlaid with a yellow sweater and grey trousers.

2:45-2:46pm: She leaves the store via the loading bay on Bedford Street, just over an hour before she was due to finish work at 4pm.

2:47pm: She walks onto London Street past the Cosy Club.

2.48pm: Ms Lord then makes her way onto Queens Street and walks towards Norwich Cathedral.

2:50-3:23pm: She enters the Cathedral grounds and doesn’t exit for another 33 minutes.

3:23pm: She is seen on The Close at the Cathedral entrance and exits through the archway while putting her olive-coloured coat on and is seen to walk away from the cathedral on Queens Street.

3:49pm: This is the last sighting of Ms Lord on the CCTV near the Playhouse on St George’s Street.

3:53pm: She walks along St Crispins Road towards Pitt Street.

4:01pm: Gaynor walks up St Augustines Street - this is the last time Ms Lord was captured on CCTV before she went missing.

4:15pm: Ms Butcher gets a call from Ms Lord, but it sounds like a pocket dial and the two don't speak.

What we know so far as we get close to a week since Gaynor Lord went missing

What we know about missing mum Gaynor Lord's disappearance

  • Gaynor Lord, 55, was last seen on the afternoon of Friday, December 8
  • Police are focusing their search around River Wensum in Norwich near where she was last seen
  • She went missing after a day at work at Bullards Gin counter in Jarrold department store
  • She was seen on CCTV hurrying through Norwich town centre
  • At around 2.50pm she entered the Cathedral where she stayed for a little over half an hour
  • The last sighting of Ms Lord on the CCTV near the Playhouse on St George’s Street was at 3.49pm.
  • She did not return home from work
  • Her white shirt, yellow tank top and jewellery were all found at various locations in Wensum Park. Her phone and glasses were also found.
  • Police have 'some indications' of why she left work early
  • Ms Lord's friend Julie Butcher had two calls from her, one at 2.15pm and another at 4.15pm 
  • Ms Butcher was busy at 2.15pm, so told Ms Lord she'd call her back
  • The 4.15pm call 'sounded like a pocket call'

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