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The man arrested over the kidnap and murder of missing Burnley mother-of-two Katie Kenyon is an ex-boyfriend.
He was detained by police over the weekend after Katie – who neighbours say is a care worker – vanished after getting into a silver transit van on Friday morning.
The suspect, 50, has refused to answer police questions on where the 33-year-old mother is currently located.
A team of 60 specialist search officers from four police forces and sniffer dogs are scouring a beauty spot some 23 miles from her home town in a hunt for her body.
Lancashire Police said last night the missing person enquiry was now a homicide investigation. The search has been provisionally scheduled to go on until at least this Friday.
A spokesman for the force said the 50-year-old man arrested on suspicion of kidnapping Ms Kenyon has been further arrested on suspicion of her murder.
He remains in custody and is being questioned about her disappearance. Detectives are this evening making a further application to Burnley Magistrates Court to continue this male’s detention to 9pm tomorrow.
Police said Ms Kenyon’s family have been informed of the latest developments and continue to be supported by specially trained officers.
Scores of officers were yesterday seen scouring the 3,000-acre Gisburn Forest in the Ribble Valley, some 23 miles from Todmorden Road, in Ms Kenyon’s home town of Burnley, where she was last seen parking her white Ford Fiesta at 9.15am on Friday, before getting into a silver van with an unknown man around 15 minutes later.
Her family have revealed she left her belongings inside her vehicle, with her sister posting on Facebook that ‘nothing adds up’ about her disappearance on Saturday.
Ms Kenyon’s sister Sarah wrote: ‘Can me and my family please ask people to STOP saying rest in peace! They have not found a body! They have not charged him with murder! They have arrested him on suspicion of murder!
‘WE ARE STILL SEARCHING for our Katie! She’s out there somewhere and we still need people to come forward with ANY information, big or small! This is absolutely heartbreaking for us.’
Police say the van travelled to the village of Bolton-by-Bowland, 17 miles north from Burnley, and just seven miles to the south of the beauty spot where they are now searching.
This is the sixth day Katie Kenyon has been missing after she vanished on Friday morning in Burnley and police are still looking
A policeman with a sniffer dog at Gisburn Forest where police have started a search for Katie Kenyon as it enters its sixth day
A team of specialist search officers from four police forces and sniffer dogs are scouring a beauty spot miles from her home
Police have searched this property on Todmorden Road in Burnley after she went missing and after the man was arrested
Specialist emergency teams search an area of Gisburn Forest in the Ribble Valley today searching for mother Katie Kenyon
Detective Superintendent Gary Brooks, Lancashire Police’s Head of Major Crime, said on Tuesday: ‘While I hold some slim hope that Katie may still be found alive I’m sad to say that Katie has now been missing for over four days. Despite extensive police enquiries and media appeals we have not found Katie nor have there been any sightings of Katie.
‘We have spoken to Katie’s family today and they are understandably extremely upset by this latest development and I have officers continuing to offer them support. My thoughts are with them at this time.
‘I am really grateful for all the help that members of the public have given us so far and I would continue to appeal to anyone who has any information, however small, to come forward and speak to us. While we do have someone under arrest our enquiries are very much on-going.
‘We are continuing to search a number of different locations in connection with this investigation, including at Gisburn Forest and I am grateful to colleagues from Merseyside and North Wales, and other emergency service partners who are offering assistance in the these complex and wide-scale searches.
‘I am aware that many members of the public have offered to help us in those searches and while I am grateful for that I would dissuade anyone from doing so. The area we are searching is very large and remote with no phone signal. The police teams are trained professionals who are used to doing this sort of work and I would hate for someone to get lost or come to harm while trying to help. Please leave it to us.’
Forces from across the north west have been drafted in to help search the vast woodland.
Search and rescue dogs darted in between the trees as areas remained sealed off for walkers and mountain bikers.
Fire and rescue are also helping with the search which is expected to last until at least Friday.
Police on horseback were on patrol across the many footpaths that weave through the woods. Officers from Merseyside Police and North Wales are also helping with the search.
Detectives released a picture of the silver Ford Transit on Monday, and are now testing the vehicle after it was driven back to the spot on Friday.
Neighbours have revealed the 33-year-old mother had her beloved Ford Fiesta vandalised.
Katie Kenyon, 33, hasn’t been seen now for six days after going missing in Burnley on Friday, leaving her family distraught
Officers wearing protective goggles and using sticks are search every corner of the huge area of Ribble Valley woodland
Ms Kenyon was last seen on April 22 in Burnley, and is believed to have travelled to this area with a man in a silver transit van
The dense greenery and woodland make it difficult and slow progress for police trying to find any trace of Ms Kenyon
Forensic officers have been searching a house on Todmorden Road in Burnley for clues after Ms Kenyon got into a van there
Ms Kenyon was last seen getting into this transit van on Friday morning with an unknown man before going missing
Forensic teams outside the address on Todmorden Road in Burnley where Katie Kenyon vanished just after 9.30am on Friday morning
The disappearance of Katie Kenyon: How police ‘kidnap’ mystery unfolded
Katie drives in her white Ford Fiesta to an address known to her on Todmorden Road, Burnley, and gets into a silver Ford Transit with the registration MT57 FLC at 9.30am. At 2pm her Samsung mobile phone goes dead, sparking concern.
Katie’s family raise the alarm and officially report her disappearance to the police.
Police arrest a 50-year-old man on suspicion of kidnap and launch an appeal for information or any witnesses.
Detectives disclose the suspect, 50, is someone known to Katie and they get a further 36-hours to question him. Search teams begin combing the 3,000-acre Gisburn Forest in the Ribble Valley.
Police continue their search of the woodland area as the suspect is held in custody. Neighbours of Katie tell MailOnline her car had its tyres slashed last year in an attack.
The incident – which Lancashire Police have been told about – happened in 2021 but was not reported at the time.
Paul Clough, 56, one of Ms Kenyon’s neighbours, told MailOnline: ‘Someone slashed her tyres a year ago or so.
‘I don’t know Katie that well, but she’s all about her two kids.’
Christine Marshall, 62, said: ‘Once the tyres on her car were slashed. This is really out of character for her, she would never leave her kids behind.
‘I think she worked part-time, based on the uniform she wore I would guess as a care worker or something like that.’
Ms Kenyon’s Samsung handset stopped ringing just after 2pm after she got into the van on Friday and her Fiesta was left there containing her belongings.
Her family have also said she appears to have posted some items through a letterbox of an address on the street.
She has been missing since Friday, April 22, with Lancashire Police increasingly concerned for her after the ‘out of character’ disappearance.
A friend said: ‘She wouldn’t have done this, leaving her kids to come home from school without her.’
Officers say they believe a woman matching Katie’s description got into the silver van with the man three days ago.
Ms Kenyon’s sister Jenny posted online that her phone was no longer working, adding: ‘Samsung! Been off since 2pm yesterday.
‘Took her car to a house and posted her things and vanished!
‘Very unusual and out of character for Katie. Nothing adds up and we are all concerned for her and her whereabouts.
‘She drives a white Fiesta, which was dropped at a house in Burnley on Todmorden Road with her belongings – still doesn’t make sense.’
The search for missing 33-year-old Katie Kenyon concludes at Gisburn Forest last night with officers toiling to bring her home
Ms Kenyon has not been seen since and police have arrested a 50-year-old man from Burnley in connection with her disappearance.
Lancashire Police says the man is helping with its investigation, and is appealing for information from members of the public.
Police say the vehicle, which had registration MT57 FLC was then driven 17 miles into the countryside, near to the village of Bolton by Bowland in the Ribble Valley.
Ms Kenyon is described as white, 5ft 9ins tall, with shoulder length blond hair, and was last seen wearing a blue cardigan, light blue and white top, black leggings and flip flops.
Detective Chief Inspector Al Davies, of Lancashire Police’s Major Investigation Team, said: ‘Katie’s disappearance is out of character and her family are understandably very worried.
‘We are doing all we can to try and find her and I would appeal to anyone who has any information, however insignificant you may think it is, to come forward and contact us.
‘I would especially like to hear from anyone who was in Bolton by Bowland or the surrounding area and saw anything suspicious to get in touch.
‘Did you see a woman matching Katie’s description, either alone or with a man? Did you see the silver transit van or might you have dashcam footage which shows it.
‘While we have arrested someone in connection with our investigation, I am very much keeping an open mind as to what has happened and I have a team of officers and staff working hard to try and find Katie and return her to her family.
‘You could help with that so please do come forward and speak to us as your information could prove crucial.’
Anyone with information should call Lancashire Police on 101 quoting log 800 of April 24th or contact them through the Major Incident Public Portal at https://mipp.police.uk/operation/0401020119P01-PO1.
Alternatively contact independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Source: Daily Mail