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Police make finds in Becky Godden investigation

Sniffer dogs were called in to help the search of the house in Ashbury Avenue Credit: ITV News

Police investigating the death of Becky Godden-Edwards have found a number of items of interest in the search of a house in Swindon. The items have been sent for analysis by experts.

More than 40 staff are continuing to search the house in Ashbury Avenue, which is the former home of Christopher Halliwell, who is serving life for the murder of Sian O'Callaghan.

The detective in charge of the search is asking for anyone with information about Becky to come forward.

People have come forward with helpful information who have not contacted us previously as they didn’t think it would be relevant. I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is to let us know any information you have, as the smallest detail may be the key to justice for Becky and her family.

We know that Becky was last seen on 27 December 2002 and we need people to come forward with any information about where she was in early 2003 - Did you see Becky over the New Year period?

I would like to reiterate our thanks to the occupants of the house who have no involvement in this investigation and the local community for their assistance and co-operation. I anticipate that the road closure at Ashbury Avenue will remain in place until the end of the week.’

– DCI Sean Memory, Wiltshire Police

Police search house for evidence in historic murder

Police have, today, been searching the former home of a convicted killer - as part of their investigations into the murder of a second young woman. Twenty year old Becky Godden was last seen in December 2002. Her remains were found in a field in 2011. Police forensic teams have been carrying out a search of the former home of taxi driver Christopher Halliwell, in Swindon in Wiltshire. He was jailed for the murder of Sian O'Callaghan in 2011. Bob Constantine reports.

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Detectives search house in Swindon in relation to Becky Godden murder

Detective Chief Inspector, Sean Memory is leading searches at a house in Ashbury Avenue, Swindon in relation to the murder of Becky Godden. Becky was last seen on 27 December 2002 and there are no confirmed sightings of her in 2003. In 2011 officers found Becky’s remains buried in a field in East Leach, Gloucestershire.

We are focusing our attention on this property as part of the ongoing investigation and have organised a specialist team comprised of over 30 staff. These officers are concentrating their search for any items which may be related to Becky’s murder or may assist with the investigation into her death.

We have a number of Crime Scene Investigators who will conduct meticulous fingertip searches of the property. This will include the removal of flooring, exploring space behind walls and in loft areas and a methodical search carried out until I am satisfied that the entire house has been thoroughly examined.

Cadaver dogs from South Wales Police will also play a key part in the examination of the property; these dogs can detect minute traces of blood or human remains even if it has been there for many years. We are also receiving assistance from colleagues from other agencies who are providing specialist search equipment.

Detectives will be carrying out house to house enquiries with local residents in order to gather any further information regarding Becky’s disappearance, or information regarding this property.

Renewed appeal posters will be distributed in the area and I would like to hear from anyone who saw Becky over the Christmas 2002 – New Year 2003 period. From our enquiries so far we know that Becky was last seen alive on 27 December 2002 but we need friends/acquaintances or anyone who recognises seeing her after that date to come forward so we can gather a full picture of what happened to Becky and when. I can assure any callers that their details will be kept in confidence and would like to reiterate that any information that people have about Becky could help us to get justice for her and her family. (A copy of the appeal poster is attached.)

I would estimate the searches and activity in the area will take approximately a week but this is dependent on a number of factors such as any items we find and where they are found. Anything of interest will be forensically recovered and will be sent for analysis by forensic experts.

Due to the nature of the searches there will be disruption within the house, this will be rectified at the conclusion of the searches. I would like to express my gratitude to the current occupants and all residents in the area for their co operation and understanding.

– DCI Memory

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Detective will face panel in private

Wiltshire Police has confirmed a date for a hearing to decide whether the detective who investigated the murder of Sian O'Callaghan committed gross misconduct in relation to the case and to the investigation of the murder of Becky Godden-Edwards (also known as Becky Godden).

A panel of independent members will meet from 20th January 2014 for a private hearing expected to last five days.

The panel was established after the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) found that Detective Superintendent Fulcher had a case to answer for gross misconduct relating to three alleged breaches to the Standards of Professional Behaviour, as outlined by the Police Conduct Regulations 2008. It would be inappropriate for Wiltshire Police to make any comment until the hearing has concluded. We will inform the media of the panel’s decision when it has been made."

– Wiltshire Police statement

Christopher Halliwell was convicted of Sian O'Callaghan's murder in 2011. He later showed police where Becky Godden-Edwards was buried, but a judge ruled he could not be charged with her murder because he had not been read his rights by police.