Body found in river identified as Gaynor Lord

By John Mercury December 19, 2023

A body found in the search for Gaynor Lord has been formally identified as that of the mother-of-three.

The remains were recovered from the River Wensum on Friday, a week after Mrs Lord disappeared.

The 55-year-old was last seen on CCTV walking along St Augustines Street in Norwich, at 4.01pm on Friday 8 December, having left work early at Jarrolds department store in Norwich city centre.

“Police can confirm the body of a woman found in the River Wensum in Norwich on Friday has been formally identified as Gaynor Lord,” Norfolk Police said on Monday.

They said that Mrs Lord’s cause of death is yet to be confirmed, but “early indications” are “consistent with drowning”.

Mrs 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.

Her body was recovered after a specialist dive team combed through a stretch of the river where officers said there was a “high probability” Mrs Lord had entered the water.

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‘No evidence of third party involvement’

“Police continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding Gaynor’s disappearance and a file is being prepared for the coroner,” police said.

They added there was “no evidence of third party involvement” in the case and that they were confident she did not meet anyone on the way to the park where she was last seen.

Previously, the force said they had not been able to establish Mrs Lord’s state of mind when she went missing with “any degree of confidence”.

CCTV image of Gaynor Lord leaving work on Friday 8 December
CCTV image of Gaynor Lord leaving work on Friday 8 December

A friend of Mrs 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.

Ms Butcher said she spoke to Mrs Lord at 2.37pm – a few minutes before she left work early – and then received a missed call from her phone shortly after she was last seen on CCTV.

“I answered the call and said ‘who is it?’ and she said ‘it’s Gaynor’,” Ms Butcher said of the first call.

“Then my phone rang and it was one of my clients, so I said to Gaynor can I call you back and she said ‘yes’.

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‘I really wish I’d answered that call’

“I rang her back and then she didn’t answer, so I called her again and left a message, and then I messaged her on WhatsApp.”

Ms Butcher described the second call from Mrs Lord as a “pocket call”.

“It sounded like she was walking along,” she said.

Floral tributes to Mrs 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.”


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