Landowner rejects £40,000 offer from Muriel McKay’s family to excavate burial site in bid to find body

12 January 2024, 12:09 | Updated: 12 January 2024, 12:16

The landowner of where Muriel McKay is buried has turned down a £40,000 offer to the excavate the site.
The landowner of where Muriel McKay is buried has turned down a £40,000 offer to the excavate the site. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

A landowner has turned down a £40,000 offer from the family of Muriel McKay to dig up the site where they believe she was buried.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Ms McKay, 55, was kidnapped and held for ransom for £1 million by brothers Nizamodeen and Arthur Hosein in 1969.

She was the wife of Australian newspaper executive, Alick, who was Rupert Murdoch's deputy.

The brothers had meant to kidnap Murdoch’s former wife, Anna, but got the wrong person. Ms McKay disappeared and was never found.

On Thursday, Ms McKay’s family revealed they had offered the owner of the land £40,000 to dig up the site so they can search for her body.

They hand-delivered a letter to the owner of the Hertfordshire farm earlier this week, but the landowner has since turned down the offer.

According to The Times, Scotland Yard told the family: “We have had contact from the [landowner] family and the indication is that they will not accept your offer and would prefer contact to be via us.”

Muriel McKay was mistaken for Rupert Murdoch's former wife Anna.
Muriel McKay was mistaken for Rupert Murdoch's former wife Anna. Picture: Alamy

Read more: Grandson of murder victim Muriel McKay slams Met for ‘not searching farmland’ as family issue new plea to find body

Read more: Muriel McKay's family offer landowner £40,000 to excavate farm to find body, as MPs urge police to get search warrant

Ian de Burgh has previously refused to give up access to his land, though did agree to allow the Metropolitan Police to dig up a small part of the farm last year.

Nothing was found in the search, but the family believes the police searched in the wrong place.

McKay’s family previously offered £40,000 to her killer, Nizamodeen Hosein, to reveal the details of the 1969 kidnap and murder.

Hosein, who has since been released from prison, revealed the location of her body without taking the sum.

In the letter written to the landowner, Muriel's grandson Mark Dyer said: "The perpetrator has admitted his part in this crime after so many years and he genuinely wishes to help us find Muriel.

"He has provided a written and sworn affidavit detailing the location of the burial site.

"We now wish to search a small, targeted and specific area with minimal police attendance. That way there will be no unnecessary searching.

"We agreed to a limited search previously and now the circumstances have changed as we have specific information as to the burial location from the person who actually dug the grave."

Hosein revealed the location of her body without taking the sum.
Hosein revealed the location of her body without taking the sum. Picture: Alamy

A statement issued on behalf of the landowner on Thursday said he “very much sympathises with the family and hopes they can find closure over this tragedy”.

“Mr Marsh is in regular conversation with the Metropolitan Police over this matter,” the statement continued.

“He has at all times been fully co-operative with their investigation and every time the police have asked for access to his land, he has granted it to them”.

Hosein and his brother, Arthur, were given life sentences for the kidnap and murder of Ms McKay, who was 55 years old when she died.

Hosein, now living in poverty in Trinidad, has offered to come back to the UK to reveal the exact spot where she was buried, though this would require Home Office approval following his deportation in 1990.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Labour is said to be drafting options for wealth taxes

Labour 'draws up plans for wealth taxes' in bid to 'unlock' funds for public services

Nigel Farage said that the West had provoked Putin into invading Ukraine

'We gave Putin an excuse': Nigel Farage says the West provoked Russia into invading Ukraine

Just Stop Oil plans major disruption to summer holidays with private jet stunt just the start

Two charged after Just Stop Oil protesters sprayed private jets with orange paint at Stansted Airport

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

Tories raise less than £300k in second week of election campaign, as over three-quarters of all donations go to Labour

File photo of passengers boarding an Easyjet plane

Chaos as Easyjet kicks 26 men off flight headed from the UK to Portugal for 'disruptive behaviour'

Bardia Shojeifard

'Outwardly normal' teen killer with 'worrying interest in knives' posed with huge blade before murdering Alfie Lewis, 15

Police were called to a property at Shorncliffe Road shortly after 3pm on Sunday

Pictured: Baby girl mauled to death in Coventry dog attack at family home

Public schoolboy guilty of attempted murder after vicious clawhammer attack on sleeping staff and students ahead of 'zombie apocalypse'

Public schoolboy obsessed by 'zombie apocalypse' guilty of claw hammer attack on sleeping staff and students

PC Idominik Efeotor raised the issue at the annual State of London debate

'The people who investigate the officers are the problem’: Black Met officer hits out at disproportionate treatment in disciplinary process

Salisbury Novichok victim Dawn Sturgess

Former spy and daughter may give evidence at Salisbury poisonings inquiry

Rishi Sunak has urged voters not to let Labour 'waltz into office'

'Don't let Labour waltz into office', Sunak tells voters as Brits may not 'ever' be able to get them out of power

Exclusive
Starmer says eco mob 'needs to feel the full force of the law' as he slams 'pathetic' Just Stop Oil

Starmer says 'pathetic' eco mob 'needs to feel the full force of the law' as two charged for private jet stunt

The M6

Drivers face misery as major motorway closed for three days next week, sending cars on 90 minute diversion

Kings College Hospital NHS Trust is one of two London Hospitals affected by the hackers

Russian hackers publish NHS patients' details and blood test results online after London hospital cyber attack

Bardia Shojaeifard killed Alfie Lewis

'Outwardly normal' boy, 15, who murdered teenager Alfie Lewis named for first time as judge lifts anonymity

Helicopters, sniffer dogs and 4x4s have been deployed in the search for Jay Slater.

Helicopters and sniffer dogs deployed as Spanish authorities focus on new terrain in search for missing Jay Slater