'No evidence of third party involvement' after body found in case of missing mother Gaynor Lord

By John Mercury December 15, 2023

Police have said there is “no evidence of third party involvement” in the case of missing mother-of-three Gaynor Lord.

Chief superintendent Dave Buckley said the investigation remained a missing person’s inquiry “at this stage” – and that they were confident she did not meet anyone on the way to the park where she was last seen.

It comes after the body of a woman was found by specialist divers searching for Ms Lord on Friday. The remains are yet to be identified but her family has been informed.

Gaynor Lord ‘still missing’ – latest updates

The 55-year-old left work early at Jarrolds department store in Norwich city centre at 2.45pm on Friday 8 December.

A specialist dive team had been combing a stretch of the River Wensum, where officers said there was a “high probability” Ms Lord had entered the water.

Officers were seen recovering something from the river in a black bag at around 12pm on Friday.

Gaynor Lord. Pic: Norfolk Constabulary
Gaynor Lord. Pic: Norfolk Constabulary

In a statement, Norfolk Constabulary said: “Police searching for missing Norwich woman Gaynor Lord can confirm a body has been found in the River Wensum.

“The body was found in the river by underwater search teams this morning and has now been recovered from the water.

“While the body hasn’t formally been identified, Gaynor’s family have been informed.

“They continue to be supported by specially trained officers.”

Police ‘open-minded’

Speaking to reporters at the scene, Chief Superintendent Dave Buckley said detectives were still “open-minded to the circumstances of Gaynor’s disappearance” and said they would pursue “all lines of enquiry”.

He said police now had a “better understanding” of Ms Lord’s movements through the city centre after she left work.

The senior officer added: “I would reiterate at this stage that there is no evidence of third party involvement. Nothing in our enquiries have changed this position.”

A post-mortem examination will now be carried out on the body to establish the cause of death.

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Floral tributes to Ms Lord were laid near the gates of Wensum Park following the discovery of the body.

One of them said: “Gaynor may you be at peace. God bless your family.”

Police had previously said they had not been able to establish Ms Lord’s state of mind when she went missing with “any degree of confidence”.

She was last sighted on CCTV wearing glasses and a long coat, walking along St Augustines Street in Norwich, at 4.01pm on Friday.

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CCTV of missing Gaynor Lord

Ms Lord’s clothing, mobile phone, glasses and jewellery, including two rings, were later discovered at various locations in Wensum Park.

Her coat was found in the river that runs through the park.

Ch Supt Buckley previously told reporters that officers had “some indications” as to why Ms Lord left work more than an hour before she was due to finish.

A friend of Ms Lord’s, Julie Butcher, told Sky News that she received a missed call from the mother-of-three’s mobile phone minutes after she was last seen in CCTV footage.

Gaynor Lord's last known movements
Gaynor Lord’s last known movements

Police confirmed they had consulted officers from Lancashire Constabulary who worked on the search for Nicola Bulley.

Ms Bulley’s body was found in the River Wyre in Lancashire on 19 February.

The Lancashire force was criticised over its handling of that investigation and the disclosure of Ms Bulley’s personal information.


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