Thursday 18 January 2018

Man (21) held in connection with hunt for missing Karen


POLICE are quizzing 21-year-old suspect Alexander Pacteau in relation to the disappearance of Karen Buckley.

Karen (24), from Mourneabbey in Co Cork, disappeared without a trace from a nightclub in Glasgow city on Saturday night.

Mr Pacteau, who told police that he and Karen went back to his apartment in the early hours of Sunday morning, was detained by detectives last night.

The 21-year-old was traced by police after he was spotted on CCTV leaving The Sanctuary club on Dumbarton Road at 1am on April 12.

A police spokesman said that they are following a "definite line of inquiry" in their investigation.

Yesterday evening, the intensive police search moved to a woodland rural area approximately 10 miles outside Glasgow city.

Hundreds of police officers descended on a farm in High Craigton and there was police activity at Windyhill Golf Club, which is close by.


Various police vehicles, including off-road motorbikes and air support units, were scouring the rugged terrain behind a farm.

A large Glasgow police Emergency Planning Section vehicle arrived late yesterday evening at the site. Then, just after 9pm, three fire engines arrived at the scene.

The last person to see Ms Buckley before she was reported missing, Alexander Pacteau told officers he had driven the 24-year-old to his flat in Dorchester Avenue before she left at 4am. The company director claims Ms Buckley left his flat to walk home to her home in the city's Garnethill area.

A heavy police presence surrounded his flat for a fourth consecutive day yesterday as investigators searched the front and rear of the property.

Shortly after 2pm, forensics teams could be seen sorting through rubbish bins at the rear of the property.

They bagged and logged their findings in evidence bags. During their search, they uncovered a number items including various articles of clothing which were taken into evidence.

A large-scale search operation was underway at Dawsholm Park yesterday with teams of officers combing the area. Ms Buckley's handbag was found in a bin near an entrance to the nature reserve on Tuesday less than a five-minute walk from Pacteau's home.

Karen began an occupational therapy degree at Glasgow Caledonian University in February, and was previously a nurse at the Princess Alexandria hospital in Harlow, Essex.

Police had been following several leads and have received a large number of calls in relation to a suspicious vehicle, a grey car spotted in remote locations near to last night's search site.

"It has been seen in a rural area around Milngavie a number of times since Monday. We are not sure what it is doing out there," said Det Supt Kerr.

Neighbours in Dorchester Avenue said detectives had been asking questions about a silver car parked outside the flat on Monday.

Residents say forensic investigators examined the car on Tuesday before it was towed away at 4am. However, Police Scotland have not confirmed that a car was towed away by them. Under Scottish law, police can detain someone for up to 12 hours.

This may, in certain circumstances, be extended by a further 12 hours.

At the end of that period, the police must release the suspect unless they believe they have sufficient evidence to arrest them.

DNA or other samples may be taken but only if they are deemed necessary to the investigation of the case.


The investigation into Ms Buckley's disappearance remains a missing person inquiry, a police spokesman confirmed last night.

The detective leading the hunt for Miss Buckley has said it is his "absolute priority" to find her.

Detective Superintendent Jim Kerr said earlier: "We have a team of specialist search officers from the west and east working in the area as well as additional patrols in the west end and north of the city."

Yesterday, Karen's college said it was "extremely concerned" and urged classmates to come forward with any information that they may have.

Glasgow Caledonian University said in a statement: "We are extremely concerned for the safe return of GCU student Karen Buckley.

"Staff are currently assisting the police with their ongoing investigation and students are being offered support by the University."

Meanwhile, a fundraising page set up by Karen's nursing classmates from the University of Limerick raised almost €3,000 in just a few hours after it was set up last night. The fundraising effort is to help her family with their expenses while travelling in Glasgow.

Karen's mother Marian (61) and her father John (62), who run a family farm in Glynn, Mourneabbey near Mallow, issued a heart-breaking appeal for information.

Her brother Kieran Buckley (28) joined his parents in the Scottish city from Sydney where he lives with his brother Damian (32).

The Buckleys' fourth child John (26) lives and works in Cork.

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