Missing mum Gaynor Lord 'may have met mystery person at Cathedral' as police probe 'lost 34 minutes'

14 December 2023, 01:32 | Updated: 14 December 2023, 08:00

Norfolk Police have been in contact with the force who worked on the Nicola Bulley case.
Norfolk Police have been in contact with the force who worked on the Nicola Bulley case. Picture: Norfolk Police/Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Missing mother Gaynor Lord may have 'met a mystery person at Norwich Cathedral' just hours before vanishing.

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Gaynor Lord, 55, has been missing since Friday 8 December, with search operations underway to locate her.

Detectives have said that there is no information to suggest a third-party is involved in her disappearance, but they are probing a crucial 34-minute period in which she cannot be accounted for.

Norfolk Police released footage on Wednesday of the final moments she was seen before her disappearance.

In it, she is seen hurrying through Norwich town centre, even crossing the road while the traffic lights are on green.

She is then seen putting on her coat as she walks near Wensum park.

Ms Lord finished work at 2.45pm on Friday and was seen entering cathedral grounds at 2.50pm before leaving at 3.23pm.

Police believe she may have met someone at the church who could hold important information about her missing movements, according to the Sun.

But officers are unable to access her phone for further insights.

The last sighting of her on CCTV was at 4.01pm as she made her way from the cathedral to the park, where her clothes were later discovered.

Read more: Gaynor Lord: Timeline of missing mum's disappearance as CCTV of last known movements released

Read more: Missing Gaynor Lord seen on CCTV smiling as she left work before hurrying through Norwich - as divers join search

Gaynor Lord CCTV

Police in Norwich told LBC they have been in contact with Lancashire Police, which worked on the widely-criticised case of Nicola Bulley, who went missing for three weeks and then was found dead, to ensure they leave "no stone unturned".

Ms Bulley, 45, a mother-of-two, was found in the River Wyre on February 19, about a mile from where she vanished, while walking her dog in St Michael's on Wyre, Lancashire, on January 27.

Asked about the parallels between Ms Lord’s disappearance and Nicola Bulley’s, Norwich Policing Commander Superintendent Wes Hornigold told LBC: “We will absolutely, and have been, linking in with Lancashire Constabulary to understand any of the lessons learned from that inquiry.

“We’ve already had meetings with the National Crime Agency in terms of understanding any specific skills and knowledge in respect to water searching.

“We’re cognisant of the recent College of Policing report into the Lancashire inquiry, so we’re leaving no stone unturned and making sure we’re doing everything within our power to find Gaynor as quickly as possible.”

Read more: Six clues Gaynor Lord left behind, as police search for missing Norwich mum, and children urge her to come home

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

Lancashire Police was not aware of any contact from their counterparts in Norwich when contacted by LBC on Wednesday evening.

Supt Hornigold said: “We’ll work methodically through the evidence…we’ll continue to be open-minded but ultimately, as I’ve described, the hypothesis at the moment is that Gaynor has entered the water”.

A review was commissioned by the College of Policing to examine the effectiveness of Lancashire Police’s response during the Nicola Bulley case, which saw unprecedented levels of mainstream and social media interest.

A member of Ms Lord’s family criticised internet sleuths on Wednesday for sharing theories about the 55-year-old’s disappearance.

The family member, who asked to remain anonymous, told the MailOnline: “There's been lots of things being said, like ''Has she run away with anybody?'' and things like that.

“It's not very helpful. It's hard enough as it is.”

Gaynor Lord hurrying through Norwich town centre.
Gaynor Lord hurrying through Norwich town centre. Picture: Norfolk Police

Police have said the 55-year-old's disappearance is "out of character" and Wensum Park has been closed since Saturday.

Gaynor is described as white, 5 ft 6 tall, and was wearing a white shirt and yellow tank top with a large olive-coloured coat over the top and a scarf. She has blonde shoulder-length hair in a bob.

Norwich Policing Commander, Superintendent Wes Hornigold, said: “Today we are releasing the footage of Gaynor’s last known steps on Friday afternoon before she went missing.

"We hope this will help to jog the memory of anyone who may have seen her in the city that afternoon or who may have footage of her journey.

"We are particularly keen on hearing from anyone who may have seen Gaynor in the cathedral grounds which she enters at 2.50pm and leaves at 3.23pm.

"It’s not clear where she goes inside the cathedral grounds during this time so we’re keen to hear from anyone who may have seen her there.

“We are continuing our extensive searches but would appeal to the public to come forward with any information which may help to find Gaynor.

“In the footage you can clearly see what she was wearing when she went missing. This is a particularly stressful time for her family and specialist officers continue to provide support.”

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