Monday, March 2, 2015

Becky Watts: police get 36 more hours to question pair held in hunt for Bristol girl By Steven Morris


Search continues for missing 16-year-old as police issue appeal for information about vehicle they have seized.
 

Home video of Becky Watts posted on Facebook by her father
 
Police have been given a further 36 hours to question two people arrested in connection with the disappearance of 16-year-old Becky Watts, and have issued an appeal for information about a vehicle they have seized.
Detectives searching for Becky, who has been missing from her Bristol home for 11 days, arrested the pair on Saturday afternoon. Police have given no details about the age or gender of those held.
On Monday morning, Avon and Somerset police said they had been granted an extension to the period they can hold the pair before they must charge or release them.
At the weekend, Becky’s father and stepmother, Darren and Angie-Mae Galsworthy, released a statement confirming police had told them of the arrests.
They said: “Rebecca has still not been found. We continue to hope that she will be found safe and unharmed, but we will prepare ourselves for the worst.”
 
Police are appealing for witnesses who may have seen a black Vauxhall Zafira with the registration HY06 HYA. ( Photograph: Avon and Somerset constabulary)
 

Becky was last seen on the morning of 19 February.

Avon and Somerset police said: “The critical time period is from the morning of Thursday 19 February until Monday 23 February. We are, however, keen to speak to anyone who saw this vehicle in the days either side of this.
“We also need to speak to any previous owners of this vehicle. If you have owned this car in the last few years, we need to speak to you as a matter of urgency. We have seized this car but need the public’s help in piecing together where it might have been.”
On Sunday police searched a house in Southmead, Bristol, around five miles from Becky’s home. Neighbours there said officers searched a black Zafira and took it away. They said the vehicle had been there for around a week – but did not belong to anyone who lived on the street.
Forensic science specialists have searched the home Becky shares with her father and stepmother and two other addresses – a semi-detached house in Southmead and a home in Barton Hill, less than two miles from where Becky lives.
Police were drafting in extra resources, including search dogs, from other forces as the hunt intensified. Detectives planned to use the force helicopter on Monday.

— Bristol Post (@BristolPost) March 2, 2015
#findbecky update: Police have now left a home they were searching in Barton Hill http://t.co/Qdh63U0OIW pic.twitter.com/9esnaPXg1o
 
There were unconfirmed reports that police had been seen searching in the garden of the property in Southmead.
One neighbour said: “The forensics officers have been here ever since, taking things in and out in bags.”
There was no sign of any inhabitants at the house.
It is not known if the houses are connected to the two people arrested over the weekend.
Officers from five police forces are taking part in the search for Becky, who is believed to have disappeared without any money or a change of clothes.
Experts from the National Crime Agency, College of Policing and national missing persons organisations were also helping.
More than 150 family and friends took part in a second search of parks and woodland near Becky’s home on Saturday.
Det Supt Liz Tunks, head of the major crime investigation team at Avon and Somerset police, said: “We are using all available resources to find her.
“I would like to extend my thanks to the local communities in St George and the wider Bristol area who have assisted with our search efforts so far. The sheer number of people who have shown support during the public searches has been incredible.
“I would ask that all planned public searches are coordinated through us so they dovetail with the extensive search operation we have running. Finally, I would urge anyone who has any information as to Becky’s whereabouts to come forward immediately.”
The teenager’s family said at the weekend that they still hoped to find her safe and well.
Her uncle, Joe Galsworthy, who arranged public searches on Wednesday and Saturday, said the arrests had not dampened their determination to find her.
“It hasn’t exactly filled us with confidence but it has in no way, shape or form dampened our spirits or hope that we will find Becky safe and well,” he said.
“Family is the most important thing in the world and should always be treasured as something irreplaceable. I hope and pray that she makes a safe return.”
In their statement, Becky’s father and stepmother said: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has assisted in the search for Becky and for the messages of support.
“We continue to work with the police to bring their investigation to a successful conclusion and we would like to ask members of the public to continue to report anything, however small, if they think it may help to find Becky.”
 
© theguardian.com
 

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