'We were hoping for final closure' - Mary Bastholm's family issue statement after Fred West search

The family of missing teenager Mary Bastholm say they still "hold out hope" she will be found after a fresh police investigation linked to Fred West found nothing.

Gloucestershire Police excavated the basement of The Clean Plate cafe in Gloucester after an ITV documentary crew alerted them to "possible evidence" linked to the missing 15-year-old.

Mary went missing in 1968 and the case has long been linked to serial killer Fred West.

Mary worked at the cafe in Southgate Street - then known as the Pop-In - at the time of her disappearance and West was a regular customer.

She was wearing a blue coat when she went missing and police began the search after a "blue material" was identified by the documentary crew.

But on Thursday 27 May, police revealed the excavation had been completed and no evidence of human remains found.

Forensic archaeologists had been excavating the Clean Plate cafe in Gloucester over the disappearance of 15-year-old Mary Bastholm in 1968. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

In a statement, Mary Bastholm's family said: "We would like to thank Gloucestershire Constabulary for all they have done through this difficult and emotional time.

"In particular we would like to thank DCI John Turner and the Family Liaison Officers Sean and Josh who have done a marvellous job with supporting us right from the beginning.

"We want to thank the production team for bringing their own investigation and evidence forward.

"And we would also like to thank those who have carried out the excavation work at the café, not forgetting the owners of the café for allowing this excavation to happen.

"We are still very sad that Mary has not been found. We were hoping to get a final closure on her disappearance so that we could put her to rest.

"We have been open minded throughout this process and we now know that the café can be ruled out. We can however hold out some hope that one day Mary will be found."

Mary Bastholm was last seen alive waiting at a bus stop in Gloucester. Credit: PA

They described Mary as a "strong-willed" and "happy-go-lucky" teenager who was "dearly loved" by her parents and two brothers.

The statement continues: "She enjoyed life and was just coming into her own when her life was tragically cut short.

"Her parents and two brothers were never the same after she went missing.

"They have now sadly passed away without ever knowing what happened to their loving daughter and sister.

"Finally we would like to thank the people of Gloucestershire for their support during this difficult time."

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