Birmingham & Black Country

Graveyard search for missing mother Natalie Putt concluded

Natalie Putt Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Natalie Putt left her home in Lower Gornal, West Midlands, to go to a shop in September 2003

Police investigating the disappearance of a teenage mother nearly 14 years ago have called off a search of a graveyard after nothing was found.

Following a tip-off, West Midlands Police dug up several graves this week in the search for Natalie Putt.

Ms Putt, then 17, left her home in Lower Gornal, Dudley, to go to a shop in September 2003, leaving behind her baby son, then aged 11 weeks.

On Wednesday, her father David said he still hoped for answers and "closure".

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Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Police said nothing of interest was found during the latest searches

Police said investigations would continue and they had received "significant" calls, one in particular.

Det Insp Ian Iliffe said: "We have been conducting local enquires to locate the man who made the telephone call from the kiosk in Lake Street.

"From the outset I appealed to two people to come forward and I now believe this person also has answers as to what happened to Natalie. All three have provided very similar information all naming the same person as being responsible for the young mum's death."

Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Natalie Putt left her home in Lower Gornal, West Midlands, to go to a shop in September 2003
Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption The operation at Ruiton Cemetery is expected to take several days

Officers were on site at Ruiton Cemetery in Upper Gornal, near Dudley.

Police said four sarcophagus-type graves were examined without the need for any human remains to be exhumed, but nothing was found.

A wider search of the whole graveyard also revealed nothing of interest.

The graves have now been resealed and restored to their original condition, police said.

Image caption David Putt speaking at a press conference shortly after Natalie's disappearance

On Wednesday, speaking to BBC Radio WM, Mr Putt, 60, said: "Something's got to come to light somewhere.

"I just want some answers [about] what's happened.

"I don't know whether it will get any better if I do find closure," he added, "that's something that will have to come in the near future."

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