Police search River Soar more than 17 years after woman went missing in Leicester

Phil Brewster spent the day with police as they scour the River Soar for evidence relating to Malgorzata Wnuczek's disappearance

A new search into the disappearance of Malgorzata Wnuczek took place today, more than 17 years after she went missing.

It comes following new information from Police colleagues in Malgorzata's native country of Poland which led to them believing evidence relating to her disappearance could be in the River Soar, which may include a body or remains of a body.

Specialist teams carried out a search of the River Soar in Leicester, around the Mill Lane Bridge.

Malgorzata, a Polish national, disappeared on 31 May 2006, aged 27.

She was last seen after catching a bus from her work at Peter Jackson Logistics in Sunningdale Road into Leicester city centre.

A 39-year-old man has also been arrested in the Greater Manchester area on suspicion of assisting an offender and perverting the course of justice.

She was last seen after catching a bus from her work at Peter Jackson Logistics in Sunningdale Road, Leicester, into Leicester city centre. Credit: Handout

Gosia, as she was known by her family, had regular contact with her parents, Ryszard and Bozena Smolka, who live in Poland.

The last contact with them was a text message sent on 29 May 2006.

Detectives believe there may be people within Leicester’s Polish community who know what happened to her.

Ten years on from her disappearance, in 2016, Leicestershire Police issued a renewed appeal for information.

She is described as 170cm tall, with green eyes and blonde hair.

Police believe people in Leicester’s Polish community might have information. Credit: Leicestershire Police

Senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Jenni Heggs said: "Malgorzata was 27 when she was last seen. Two days ago it was her 44th birthday.

"Officers both in the UK and in Poland have remained in contact with her family since she was last seen.

"Following information provided to us by our Polish colleagues, we are carrying out a search of the River Soar in the hope we might find something that can help us to establish Malgorzata’s whereabouts.

"Since the investigation began, more than 2,000 potential witnesses have raised more than 2,500 lines of enquiry, with more than 100 statements taken.

"But we still do not know where Malgorzata is or what might’ve happened to her. However, I firmly believe there are people out there who do.

"For more than 17 years, her family have lived their lives in darkness and we owe it to them to answer the questions they have.

"I’m making a direct appeal to the people of Leicester – and in particular our Polish community – to come forward if they have any information that could help.

"You might think what you know is insignificant, but it might just be something that leads us to Malgorzata.

"What have you heard? What do you know? Any details you’re able to provide could be of great importance."

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