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Police Find 'Possible Evidence' Of Suspected Fred West Murder Victim In Cafe Basement

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Police Find 'Possible Evidence' Of Suspected Fred West Murder Victim In Cafe Basement

Police have found 'possible evidence' of where a teenager suspected to have been killed by Fred West may be buried, prompting excavation work at a café in Gloucester.

Forensic archaeologists have started carrying out exploratory work at the Clean Plate cafe in connection with the disappearance of 15-year-old Mary Bastholm, who was last seen alive in January 1968.

The team confirmed there are a number of structural anomalies within the cellar, which warrant further exploration and excavation work.

Gloucester Police had received possible evidence from a TV production company filming a documentary at the cafe.

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One of the findings presented to police was a photo taken by the production company of what appeared to be blue material buried in one area of the cellar.

The teenager - who had worked as a waitress at the cafe - was wearing a blue coat when she went missing.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Detective Chief Inspector John Turner said: "The analysis from our experts and the material provided by the production company means there is enough evidence to justify excavation work beginning.

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"I've spoken to the family and was so impressed by their quiet dignity and gratitude for all the work we've done and will be doing.

"They understand it is possible we won't find human remains but they also know that we will do everything we can to establish if Mary is buried at this location.

"This will be slow and painstaking work but we have the best people on it and I can reassure our communities that all involved, from my team of investigators, our scenes of crime officers, search officers and family liaison officers to the forensic archaeologists who will continue their work are absolutely committed to the job ahead.

"In the meantime, I continue to ask for patience and understanding from all those affected by our ongoing presence at the cafe and thank everyone who has helped us in the last 10 days."

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Bastholm's family said they were 'extremely happy' that police have chosen to continue the search.

A statement said: "Senior investigating officer John Turner has sat with us and explained the ongoing investigation as well as his intentions to excavate the cafe to try and find Mary.

"We are extremely happy Gloucestershire Police is continuing to try and search for Mary and this gives us a chance to potentially put her at rest after all these years.

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"We want to thank everyone who has wished us support through this distressing time, and we are continuing to be in close touch with the investigation team, and are being kept up to date with any new developments.

"We hope this is a chance to finally get closure for Mary and would like to continue to ask for privacy whilst the excavation is ongoing."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Serial killer Fred West was previously suspected over Mary's disappearance, having often carried out jobs in the street where she worked at the cafe.

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Along with his wife Rose, he tortured, raped and murdered an unknown number of women over a 20-year period.

He was charged with 12 murders, but took his own life while in prison aged 53 in 1995.

Rose West was convicted of 10 murders in November 1995 and is serving life.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, News

Jess Hardiman
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