‘No third party involvement’ as police find body in search for Gaynor Lord one week after she went missing

15 December 2023, 14:53 | Updated: 15 December 2023, 15:08

A body has been found in the search for Gaynor Lord
A body has been found in the search for Gaynor Lord. Picture: Alamy/Norfolk Constabulary

By Jenny Medlicott

Police have said there is ‘no evidence of third party involvement’ in the case of missing mother-of-three Gaynor Lord.

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It comes just hours after police searching for the missing mum announced they had found the body of a woman in River Wensum during the search.

Chief Superintendent Dave Buckley of Norfolk Constabulary, also confirmed the missing mum did not meet anybody on the way to the park after previous speculation that she may have ‘met a mystery person at Norwich Cathedral’.

In a statement on Friday, Supt Buckley said: "We remain open-minded to the circumstances of Gaynor's disappearance and will continue to pursue all lines of inquiry to ascertain why she went missing.

"I am keen to say this remains a missing person inquiry at this stage I am also satisfied at the moment based on the evidence we have that Gaynor did not meet anybody on the way to the park and we now have a better understanding of her movements through the city centre.

"While this is not the outcome we wished for our search has always predominantly focused on the river and the park.

"We will now need to complete a post-mortem examination to establish a means of death - but I would reiterate at this stage that there is no evidence of third party involvement".

Gaynor Lord was last seen on CCTV on Friday afternoon
Gaynor Lord was last seen on CCTV on Friday afternoon. Picture: Norfolk Police

Mother-of-three Ms Lord, 55, went missing last Friday (December 8) in Norwich, and officers had been searching for her in the River Wensum.

Supt Buckley added: "Whilst we establish her identity our thoughts are with Gaynor's family at this difficult and distressing time we have specialist family liaison officers supporting the family and keeping them updated".

Police divers were seen removing a large black bag from the river on Friday.

Officers said at around midday: "Police searching for missing Norwich woman Gaynor Lord can confirm a body has been found in the River Wensum. The body was found in the river by underwater search teams this morning and has now been recovered from the water.

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

Ms Lord's belongings were found close to the River Wensum, and this had formed the basis of officers' strategy to search for her in the water.

She disappeared after leaving her job at a department store at 2:45pm.

Ms Lord's movements in around the next hour and fifteen minutes through the city centre that followed have been tracked on CCTV.

She was spotted walking past a bar, going into Norwich Cathedral, and then walking about a mile north towards the park.

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

Read more: Gaynor Lord's missing 26 minutes: Retracing steps of vanished mum of three, as search approaches second week

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

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 enter the water in a park area further along the river but after a phone call was received, their kit was packed up and they got back in their truck.

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