Glasgow & West Scotland

New search in Emma Caldwell murder inquiry

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Media captionEmma Caldwell's mother appeals to daughter's killer

Police investigating the murder of a Glasgow woman 12 years ago are re-examining the area her body was found.

Detectives said the search of woodland near Biggar in South Lanarkshire followed new information received since the investigation into the murder of Emma Caldwell was reopened in 2015.

They are hoping to discover items belonging to Ms Caldwell.

Officers also revealed a potential new sighting of the 27-year-old in Glasgow on the last day she was seen alive.

The heroin addict, who had been working as a prostitute, was discovered dead in May 2005.

In May 2015, the Lord Advocate told Police Scotland to reinvestigate her murder.

The family said in February this year that it felt let down by the original investigation, which had failed to bring Ms Caldwell's killer to justice.

Image copyright Police handout
Image caption Police have released CCTV of Emma Caldwell at a women's hostel in Inglefield Street, Govanhill

Police said they were starting a "detailed forensic search" of the woodland site at Roberton where her body was found on the anniversary of the last day Emma was seen alive 12 years ago.

The search will focus on specific areas after witness evidence and advice from search experts.

Twenty officers, including an underwater search team, are due to spend a week looking for evidence.

Officers are hoping to find Ms Caldwell's clothing and the belongings she had with her on the night she was murdered, as they could contain crucial forensic evidence.

Image caption Twenty officers will be involved in the week-long search

New techniques which enable experts to separate male and female DNA will also be used to re-examine DNA found near the body.

Det Supt David McLaren said: "We have been working tirelessly to find that vital piece of evidence that will allow us to put the person that killed Emma behind bars and I firmly believe that there are people out there who can assist.

"The area where Emma was found is crucial in this investigation. I'm particularly keen to hear from anyone who has been involved in prostitution and who may have been taken to the woods near Roberton.

"It's a remote location and would take around 40 minutes to travel there from Glasgow city centre on the M74. Even if you can't be sure if it's the same location you were taken to, please get in touch if someone has taken you outwith the city centre."

Emma Caldwell investigation

13,000

people in police database

  • 5,700 witnesses interviewed

  • 4,000 hours of CCTV footage

Police Scotland

The detective also said that police now believe Ms Caldwell may have been seen at the bottom of Argyle Street in Glasgow on the night she went missing on Monday 4 April 2005.

Previously, the last recorded sighting of Ms Caldwell was on Butterbiggins Road on the south side of Glasgow.

Detectives have established she may have been seen getting into a black saloon car, similar to a BMW, and that it may have come from the Dumfries area.

Ms Caldwell's mother, Margaret Caldwell, said she wanted to thank the police for all their "hard work and persistence" in trying to find the person who took her life.

Fight for justice

"Every day I think of Emma, every day I grieve for her, as a mother I know my pain will never end," she said.

"But I am here to make a direct appeal to those who know or suspect who the killer is. Please do the right thing, as long as the killer is still out there another life could be in danger.

"If you are the one who took Emma's life then I ask you to come forward, living with the guilt of taking her life must be dreadful.

"But if you have no conscience, then be aware my family and I will never give up on fighting for justice on Emma's behalf. We can do no less for we love and miss her every day, not just today."

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