Glasgow & West Scotland

Karen Buckley: Police follow 'definite line of inquiry'

Karen Buckley missing Image copyright Police handout
Image caption Miss Buckley's disappearance is said to be completely out of character

Police searching for an Irish student who went missing following a night out in Glasgow have said they are following a "definite line of enquiry".

Karen Buckley, 24, from Cork, was seen leaving the Sanctuary nightclub with a man in the early hours of Sunday.

BBC Scotland understands he is Alexander Pacteau, 21 who has been interviewed by police but is not being treated as a suspect.

High Craigton Farm near Milngavie was cordoned as part of the investigation.

Miss Buckley's bag was found in Dawsholm Park, close to Mr Pacteau's home.

Police divers and specialist officers are continuing to carry out a detailed search of the park, which is in the Kelvinside area of the city and is bordered by both the River Kelvin and the Forth and Clyde Canal.

They are being supported by the Police Scotland helicopter, as well as the force's underwater unit, police search dogs and specialist crime division.

Other sites in the area are also being searched, with officers saying they are "gravely concerned" for the wellbeing of Miss Buckley, whose parents have flown to Scotland from their home in Ireland.

Image caption Forensic officers have been examining a property in Dorchester Avenue, where Miss Buckley spent several hours early on Sunday morning
Image caption The rear of the property has also been examined by speclalist officers
Image copyright PA
Image caption The property remains cordoned off

Speaking on Wednesday afternoon, Det Supt Jim Kerr said: "Our absolute priority is to find Karen Buckley. We have a team of specialist search officers from the west and east working in the area as well as additional patrols in the west end and north of the city.

"Anyone with any information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, should contact 101 or anonymously on Crimestoppers."

Miss Buckley's mother, Marian, told a news conference on Tuesday: "We just want Karen home safely, we are desperate. She is our only daughter, we love her dearly.

"If anybody has any information please come forward, we would dearly appreciate it."

The Help Find Karen Facebook page has attracted nearly 50,000 likes.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionA farm on the outskirts of Glasgow is now the centre of the police search as Laura Bicker reports

Miss Buckley, whose disappearance was said by her father John to be completely out of character, was last seen on CCTV talking to a man who is understood to be Mr Pacteau outside the Sanctuary nightclub in Dumbarton Road.

The pair travelled in his car to his flat in Dorchester Avenue, where Mr Pacteau has told officers that he was intimate with Miss Buckley consensually in the early hours of Sunday.

He has also said she left at 04:00 with the intention of walking back to her own flat in Hill Street, close to the city centre. The two addresses are about four miles apart.

Police have stressed that the man is helping them with their inquiries, but is not a suspect at this stage.

Police have said there has been a good response from the public to appeals for help to trace Miss Buckley, but have urged people to get in touch if they have any information relating to the investigation.

Miss Buckley moved to Glasgow in February and is a first year occupational therapy student at Glasgow Caledonian University. She was previously a nurse at the Princess Alexandria Hospital in Harlow, Essex.

She arrived at the Sanctuary nightclub with friends at about 23:45 on Saturday and at about 01:00 she told them she was going to the toilet. She failed to return and did not take her jacket.

Her friends have said Miss Buckley had had a few drinks, but was not drunk.

Image caption Dawsholm Park, where Miss Buckley's handbag was found, is bordered by the Forth and Clyde Canal and the River Kelvin
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Several specialist police units have been called in to help with the search
Image caption Garages in the area have also been search

She is described as being white and about 5ft to 5ft 2in tall. She has brown eyes and dark hair which had long black curly extensions in it.

When last seen, she was wearing a black jumpsuit with red high-heeled shoes and was carrying a black handbag.

Despite reports to the contrary, Ms Buckley has not been active on social media since her disappearance.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The Sanctuary nightclub is located in the city's west end - an area popular among students

Police are also keen to find out more about a grey car that was seen on the roads between Milngavie and Drymen north of Glasgow between 11:00 and 15:00 on Monday.

Det Supt Kerr said: "The activity of this grey car on the Monday is something that we're a wee bit concerned about. This car has been seen at various locations on these roads and I want to know why."

He added: "We are gravely concerned that Karen has come to some harm, whether that is down to foul play, criminality or she has taken unwell or had an accident is obviously still to be established."

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