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Police have today taped off woodland as the hunt for missing mother-of-two Katie Kenyon enters its fifth day – with search and rescue sniffer dogs brought in to pursue any trace of her.
Scores of officers are now 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.
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.
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, who is believed to be a care worker, had her beloved Ford Fiesta vandalised.
The incident – which Lancashire Police have been told about – happened in 2021 but was not reported at the time.
A 50-year-old man, whom she knew, was arrested on suspicion of her kidnap on Sunday, and remains in custody while he is quizzed by detectives.
Paul Clough, 56, one of Katie’s neighbours, told MailOnline: ‘Someone slashed her tyres a year ago or so.
Specialist emergency teams search an area of Gisburn Forest in the Ribble Valley today searching for mother Katie Kenyon
Katie was last seen on April 22l in Burnley, and is believed to have travelled to this area with a man in a silver transit van
A policeman with a sniffer dog at Gisburn Forest where police have started a search for Katie Kenyon as it enters fifth day
Officers wearing protective goggles and using sticks are search every corner of the huge area of Ribble Valley woodland
Katie Kenyon, 33, hasn’t been seen now for five days after going missing in Burnley on Friday, leaving her family distraught
‘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.’
Katie’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 of 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.
The dense greenery and woodland make it difficult and slow progress for police trying to find any trace of Katie
Forensic officers have been searching a house on Todmorden Road in Burnley for clues after Katie got into a van there
Katie was last seen getting into this transit van on Friday morning with an as-yet unknown man before going missing
This is the fifth day Katie has been missing after she vanished on Friday morning in Burnley and police need more clues
Forensic teams outside the address on Todmorden Road in Burnley where Katie vanished just after 9.30am on Friday morning
Katie’s sister Jenny posted online that Katie’s 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.’
Katie 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.
The search for missing 33-year-old Katie Kenyon concludes at Gisburn Forest last night with officers toiling to bring her home
Katie 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