Belfast Telegraph

Search for Irish vet Catherine Gowing now at workplace of murder suspect

By Cormac McQuinn Bethesda, north Wales

Police investigating the disappearance of Irish vet Catherine Gowing have begun searching land near the workplace of the man charged with her murder.

The search for her body had been focused on a disused quarry near the small town of Mold, north Wales, where she worked.

But early yesterday, police descended on an area 50 miles to the west, beside an industrial estate where murder suspect Clive Sharp worked in a small manufacturing business.

It is believed the 46-year-old had been living on the factory premises for several weeks recently without the knowledge of the owners.

Ms Gowing's sister, Emma, is still in Wales with her husband, Shay Maguire, and has vowed to stay until the 37-year-old's body is found.

In a new appeal for information, this time asking the public to report sightings of Mr Sharp's black Volvo S40 car, Detective Chief Inspector Mark Pierce of North Wales Police praised Ms Gowing's family, saying: "Their strength and dignity have been an inspiration to us all."

Mr Sharp was charged with murder last Friday and appeared in court on Saturday morning when he was recorded as having no fixed abode.

He was remanded to Altcourse prison in Liverpool until this morning when he will appear before Caernarfon Crown Court.

Ms Gowing, from Clonee, Co Offaly, has not been seen she left work on Friday, October 12.

Her burnt-out car was found seven days later on the outskirts of Mold, and it was there that police focused their search with dog units scouring the countryside and divers searching in pools in a quarry.

Mr Sharp, who was known to the missing woman, worked as a floor manager of Blizzard Survival -- a small manufacturing operation that makes foil insulating blankets for use in emergency situations.

The business is located in Bethesda, a remote area in the foothills of the Snowdonia mountains near where Mr Sharp lived with his ex-wife for almost a decade.

A local woman, she was not home when the Irish Independent called yesterday. It is understood the couple split two years ago.

Neighbours in the Bethesda area could not say where Mr Sharp moved after the break-up, but a former employee at Blizzard Survival, Darren Beattie, said he was living in the factory in recent weeks without the knowledge of the owners.

Mr Beattie, who worked with Mr Sharp for about 18 months before leaving the company last year, said he was surprised to hear his former colleague had been arrested.

"He was my boss. He was the one that hired me. I thought he was a lovely bloke, he was down to earth, just generally a nice bloke," he said.

Police yesterday searched the industrial estate where Blizzard Survival is located, as well as the surrounding countryside.

DCI Pierce said searching also continued in the quarry and adjacent woodland near Mold in north East Wales, less than two miles from the house that Ms Gowing shared with another Irish vet, Jane Doyle.

Irish Independent

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