Gaynor Lord: 'No indications of any third-party involvement' found on body during search for missing woman

16 December 2023, 16:32 | Updated: 16 December 2023, 16:39

Norfolk Police said formal identification of a body found during the search for missing woman Gaynor Lord in Norwich will take place on Sunday.
Norfolk Police said formal identification of a body found during the search for missing woman Gaynor Lord in Norwich will take place on Sunday. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary/Alamy
Jasmine Moody

By Jasmine Moody

A post-mortem examination of a body found in the search for missing woman Gaynor Lord has found "no indications of any third-party involvement", Norfolk Police said.

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The death was not being treated as suspicious, the force added.

Chief Superintendent Dave Buckley, Norfolk's county policing commander, said: "The post-mortem examination has found no signs that any other parties were involved.

"Although our searches have concluded, officers are continuing to work to establish the full circumstances surrounding Gaynor's disappearance.

"We will pursue all lines of inquiry to understand why she went missing."

"Our thoughts remain with Gaynor's family at this incredibly difficult time."

Norfolk Police said formal identification of a body found during the search for missing woman Gaynor Lord in Norwich will take place on Sunday.

Police searching for Ms Lord, 55, announced they had found the body of a woman in River Wensum in Norwich on Friday.

Ms Lord had been missing since Friday, December 8, having not come home from work that afternoon. Her disappearance prompted a huge search as detectives traced her movements through the city.

The body that officers found in the river is yet to be formally identified, but Ms Lord's family is being supported by specialist officers.

A family friend told the Times: "Gaynor's husband Clive is totally lost.

"He doesn't understand at all what's happened."

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

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

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".

Flowers outside Wensum Park, Norwich
Flowers outside Wensum Park, Norwich. Picture: Alamy

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.

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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