'She may be dead' - police search Castle Park in Bristol in cold case murder probe

  • Detective Inspector Darren Hannant speaks to ITV News at the scene of the search

Police are searching Castle Park in Bristol as part of a "substantial operation" connected to the disappearance of Claire Holland in 2012.

It is one of a number of searches due to take place in the city in the coming days as part of the murder investigation.

Claire Holland was reported missing by her family on Thursday 14 June, 2012.

'We suspect that she may be dead'

The 32-year-old was last seen at the Seamus O’Donnell’s pub in St Nicholas Street on Wednesday 6 June that year - just after the Queen's Jubilee weekend.

A 37-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of her murder in 2019. He remains released under investigation.

Detective Inspector with Major Crime Investigation, Darren Hannant, told ITV News the force suspects she may be dead.

"We don't know where Claire's body is," he said.

"We suspect that she may be dead and therefore we need to do what we can to find her."

The Castle Park search is part of what Avon and Somerset Police say is a "significant" operation now taking place in Bristol, almost 10 years on from Claire's disappearance. It will also include specialist dive teams.

Detectives have looked at thousands of hours of CCTV footage as part of the search.

Detective Inspector Hannant said: "This is part of our investigation, which started really in 2019 in relation to us suspecting a crime had been committed.

"Since then we have been gathering information, speaking to witnesses, and reviewing hundreds, in fact more than a thousand hours of CCTV from the city to try to piece together her movements."

'Look at our CCTV'

The force are hoping people connected to Claire will come forward with information that could help them.

Detective Inspector Hannant said: "This is obviously a serious incident.

"This is something that's really, really important so we're really hoping that anyone who knew Claire, who has contact with her, friends, Facebook friends or just acquaintances - to have a look at our CCTV.

"Look at the pictures and cast your mind back and then let us know if there's anything that you know about."

If you have information which could help the investigation, call police on 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5219172645.

Alternatively, you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via their website www.crimestoppers-uk.org – they never ask for your name or trace your call.