North West Wales

Pricilla Berry disappearance: Exhumation operation ends

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Media captionPrayers were said by a Methodist minister at the graveside before the exhumation began

Police say a grave exhumation operation that could identify a woman missing for 37 years has been completed with "sensitivity and dignity".

Priscilla Berry, 39, vanished from Mochdre, Conwy county, in 1978 and officers now believe her body was discovered in the sea in 1980.

The remains were buried in a communal grave at Llangwstenin Cemetery.

Police believe advances in genetic DNA science could now help match samples taken from known family members.

The cemetery was closed until 15:30 GMT on Tuesday as the process of recovering remains from the grave were completed.

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Image caption Priscilla Berry 's family have been traced and have given the exhumation their support

Prayers were said by a Methodist minister at the graveside before the exhumation began, at the request of Mrs Berry's family, who were not present.

The grave being reopened also contained two other unknown individuals, with forensic scientists on hand to ensure the correct remains were removed.

Det Con Don Kenyon, who led the joint operation with experts from the National Missing Persons Bureau, said: "Today's operation was successful and the remains removed with all due sensitivity and dignity.

"The process will now move onto a forensic laboratory for DNA comparison checks the results of which are expected in six weeks."

The exhumation is part of Operation Orchid, which is re-examining 17 missing persons cases that date back as far as 1968, though none of them are believed to have involved any criminality.

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