Missing mother Gaynor Lord ‘spotted at 4pm in park where her clothes and mobile phone were found’

13 December 2023, 08:55 | Updated: 14 December 2023, 13:26

Police said it is 'likely' missing mum Gaynor Lord entered water
Police said it is 'likely' missing mum Gaynor Lord entered water. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

By Asher McShane

A mother who has been missing for five days was last seen in a park at around 4pm on the day she disappeared, according to a witness.

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Gaynor Lord, 55, was spotted in Wensum park in Norwich on Friday evening, the witness said.

The previous last confirmed sighting was when she left the city centre department store where she worked. She never made it home.

A major search has been ongoing for five days with police divers called in after her coat was found in a river and her clothes, two rings, mobile phone and glasses were found nearby.

For all the latest developments on the hunt for Gaynor Lord check out our live blog.

Witness Rosie Richards told the BBC that she spotted a woman matching Gaynor’s description in the park at around 4pm.

Read More: Everything we know about missing mum Gaynor Lord's disappearance as search enters sixth day

She said: "It's really upsetting... I'm just thinking of her friends and family, because she is a sort of similar age to my mum and that would be awful to be going through what they are going through right now. It's really upsetting."

Ms Lord’s coat was found in the River Wensum in the park.

Police managed to identify the items as Ms Lord's using an ID in her bag, and when they visited her home they discovered she had not returned.

They said her disappearance is "out of character" and Wensum Park has been closed since Saturday.

Read more: Missing mum Gaynor Lord ‘likely entered water’ as police probe gap between last sighting and phone being found

Footage shows specialist officers searching the water and sonar equipment has reportedly been deployed, but turned up nothing.

On Tuesday, four days into the search, Superintendent Wes Hornigold told ITV: "Gaynor left work early and didn't take her normal route home.

"We haven't been able to establish why she left early and her disappearance is out of character so we are naturally concerned for her welfare.

"There's no evidence that Gaynor has come to harm and while we have a number of inquiries ongoing, given where her clothing was found and other items, there is a real possibility she has entered the water.

"We've been liaising with the National Crime Agency (NCA) who have given advice around specialist underwater dive teams and we're seeking assistance from forces with this capability. We hope resources will be on the ground later today [Tuesday] or tomorrow.

"This is clearly a distressing time for her family. We have specialist officers supporting them and continue to keep them updated of our ongoing work."

Ms Lord worked as a retail assistant for Bullards Gin at Jarrolds department store in Norwich city centre.

She finished work at 2.45pm on Friday afternoon, despite not being due to leave until 4pm.

CCTV captured her leaving the store on Bedford Street and she was last seen on London Street walking towards Norwich Cathedral.

Her possessions were reported found in the park at 8.10pm, and it was established that she was missing.

On Monday, sonar equipment was deployed by Norfolk Police's marine unit, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, and the coastguard - but nothing was discovered.

The search of the River Wensum resumed on Tuesday and the park was once again closed the public.

Drones and teams in inflatable boats were seen in the river.

When she disappeared, Ms Lord was wearing a white shirt and yellow tank top with a large olive-colour coat over the top with a scarf.

She is described as white, 5ft 6ins tall, and has a blonde shoulder-length bob.

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