CCTV of man pulling wheelie bin may hold clue to teaching assistant’s killer
Lindsay Birbeck was last seen on August 12.
Police investigating the killing of a teaching assistant in Lancashire have released footage of a suspect pulling a wheelie bin.
A murder inquiry was launched after the body of Lindsay Birbeck, 47, was found in Accrington Cemetery by a member of the public on Saturday.
Ms Birbeck, from Huncoat, near Accrington, had been reported missing after she was last seen on August 12.
On Tuesday, Lancashire Police officially confirmed her identity and said a post-mortem examination showed she died as a result of compression of the neck, or strangulation.
They also released CCTV footage of a man walking along Burnley Road towards Accrington with a blue wheelie bin at about 2.30pm on August 17.
The suspect then turned down Whitewell Road towards the cemetery.
A bin similar to the one in the footage was found near the scene where Ms Birbeck was discovered, said police.
Detective Supt Andy Cribbin, who is leading the inquiry, said: “The man in these images is now a suspect in our investigation and I am appealing for the public’s help to try and identify him.
“If anyone thinks they know who this person is I would urge them to come forward and contact us urgently.
“I am however conscious that there could be a perfectly reasonable explanation for this footage so if this is you in these images then I would ask you to come and speak to us so we can eliminate you from our inquiry.”
A large team of detectives, uniformed officers and police staff are working on the inquiry but no arrests have yet been made.
Detectives are reviewing CCTV, carrying out house-to-house inquiries and trying to piece together Ms Birbeck’s movements since she was captured on camera in Burnley Road at just after 4pm on August 12.
When last seen, Ms Birbeck was wearing a purple Rab bubble jacket, black leggings, a white shirt with blue pinstripes, and black trainers with a white sole. Her Huawei mobile phone is also missing.
Police have urged anyone with information to submit it through the major crime web portal at www.mipp.police.uk/operation/0401020119E06-PO1
Alternatively, any witnesses can call police on 101 quoting log number 0824 of August 26 or independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.