New search in Becky Godden murder investigation

The former home of Christopher Halliwell has been searched in Swindon as part of the investigation into the murder of Becky Godden-Edwards. Her body was found in a field near Eastleach in Gloucestershire in March 2011

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Searches completed in Becky Godden investigation

A policeman stands guard at the house in Ashbury Avenue in Swindon Credit: ITV News

Police investigating the murder of Becky Godden-Edwards have now completed the search of the former home of the suspect in Swindon.

Taxi driver Christopher Halliwell, who is serving life for the murder of Sian O'Callaghan and directed police to Becky's body, used to live at the home in Ashbury Avenue.

Work is now complete at the house and a number of items have been sent for forensic analysis. The results of these tests are expected to take some weeks.

The investigation continues and further lines of enquiry have been developed following the new witnesses who came forward as a result of the activity this week.

We will continue to work closely with Becky's family and keep them updated with our progress.

I am pleased with the response from the public to our latest appeal but I would still urge anyone who has information about Becky's disappearance to come forward. There will be people out there who saw her over the Christmas 2002/New Year 2003 period and these people may hold vital details which could help us with this investigation. I can assure callers that information will be taken in the strictest confidence.

– DCI Sean Memory, Wiltshire Police

Officers have thanked residents for their understanding and help during the search, which they stress has nothing to do with the current occupants of the house.

Witness comes forward in Becky Godden investigation

Police activity in Ashbury Avenue, Swindon Credit: ITV News

Police investigating the murder of Becky Godden-Edwards say another witness has come forward with information.

Specialist teams have been searching the former home of Swindon taxi driver Christopher Halliwell, who is serving life for the murder of Sian O'Callaghan and led officers to Becky's remains in 2011.

Our Specialist officers have resumed their searches at the property on Ashbury Avenue and have two rooms left to focus their attention on. The Blood dogs have completed their duties and we are grateful to South Wales Police for their assistance. Another witness came forward last night and has provided information which officers are following up today and we expect that the house to house enquiries will be finished this evening. We are on track to be able to finalise our search by the end of the week and again I would like to say how much we appreciate the understanding of all the local residents. We continue to appeal for any information about where Becky Godden was over the period of Christmas 2002 and New Year 2003. I urge anyone who has information to contact us on 101.

– DCI Sean Memory, Wiltshire Police

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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

More than 30 officers search Halliwell's former home

Police forensic teams investigating the murder of Becky Godden-Edwards are searching a house in Swindon, where convicted killer Christopher Halliwell used to live.

Crime scene specialists will be carrying out meticulous searches, removing flooring and examining spaces behind walls at the property in Ashbury Avenue. The team of more than 30 police staff is also working with dogs who can detect traces of blood, even after many years.

I can't eliminate this address until I have searched it thoroughly. That's why we are using a number of specialist resources, including blood dogs, specialist search officers and specialist scenes of crime officers today.

– Det Ch Insp Sean Memory, Wiltshire Police

Search of Halliwell's former home could take a week

Police activity in Ashbury Avenue, Swindon Credit: ITV News

Searches are taking place at the former home of Christopher Halliwell in Swindon.

Halliwell is serving life in jail for the murder of Sian O'Callaghan. He also led officers to the remains of Becky Godden-Edwards but the prosecution fell through because of errors in police procedure. She was last seen in December 2002 and now a major search is taking place at the house in Ashbury Avenue, where Halliwell used to live.

Detective Chief Inspector Sean Memory is leading the search.

‘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.

– Detective Chief Inspector Sean Memory, Wiltshire Police
Sniffer dogs have been brought in to help the search Credit: ITV News

Dogs have also been brought in to help the search for evidence.

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.

– Detective Chief Inspector Sean Memory, Wiltshire Police

House-to-house enquiries will be taking place in the area.

Police anticipate the operation will take about a week.

Home searched in Becky Godden murder investigation

A major search is taking place at 24 Ashbury Avenue in Swindon as police continue to investigate the murder of Becky Godden-Edwards Credit: ITV News

Police in Swindon have begun searching a house once occupied by Christopher Halliwell. Halliwell is serving life for the murder of Sian O'Callaghan, but a prosecution for a second murder, of Becky Godden-Edwards, collapsed due to errors in police procedure.

It's thought Halliwell lived at the house at 24 Ashbury Avenue until 2007, but police are stressing that the current occupants are not connected with the inquiry in any way.

Murder victim Becky Godden-Edwards Credit: Family

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Becky's mother to continue fight for justice

The mother of Becky Godden from Swindon has vowed not to give up until her killer is brought to justice. She made the promise at her daughter's inquest today.

Becky's remains were found in a shallow grave in Gloucestershire. Christopher Halliwell had taken police there, but a judge ruled that he couldn't be charged with her murder because of errors in police procedure.

Halliwell is however serving life for the murder of another woman, Sian O'Callaghan.

Robert Murphy reports:

Inquest verdict on Rebecca Godden

Det Sgt Peter Ritson says there was no evidence of a cause of death.

He said the field where Becky's remains were found was a hard soil. She was buried in only 8 inches of soil.

The Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter recorded a narrative verdict.

On the available evidence its very likely that her death was unnatural and violent. At an unknown location at the end of 2002 or early 2003. “

– Oxfordshire Coroner Darren Salter

Inquest hears Rebecca Godden last seen in 2002

The inquest heard the last official sighting of Becky was on December 27th 2002. That was by a Wiltshire Police community officer in the Manchester Road area of Swindon.

Karen Edwards, Becky's mother, tried to formally report her missing some years later but was advised by an enquiry officer that as Becky had not been seen for more than five years, she would be unable to do so.

The officer suggested to Mrs Edwards that she try missing persons charities.

Det Sgt Peter Ritson says there was no evidence of a cause of death.

He said the field where Becky's remains were found was a hard soil. She was buried in only 8 inches of soil.

Inquest hears how Becky Godden was found

Becky's body was found in a shallow grave. The coroner told the court that most of Becky's skeleton was intact, except for her skull, hands and feet, which were missing and were never found.

A report from a Home Office pathologist said there were no signs of any trauma or injuries. He concluded the cause of Becky's death was 'unascertained.'

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