19 miles of North Yorkshire A-roads searched for mother's body

Camper van traced, but police want to know about its movements in the hunt for Rania Alayed's body

Murder squad detectives are searching for the body of a mother of three believed dumped along a rural stretch of road.

Officers have now traced a suspect white camper van spotted driving along the A168/A19 near Thirsk at the time 25-year-old Rania Alayed went missing.

But detectives do not yet know exactly where the van stopped and the stretch of road near Thirsk, North Yorkshire, runs for 19 miles with numerous laybys.

Ms Alayed's body is still missing but two men have been charged with her murder.

Officers want the public's help in trying to pin down exactly where the camper van was seen as today they continued searching along the A-road.

Teams of officers from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and North Yorkshire Police carried out a line search today in a northbound layby between the A1 and Thirsk and searches will continue on this stretch of road for a number of days or weeks, police said.

Ms Alayed was reported missing from her home in Cheetham Hill, Manchester, on July 2, having been last seen in public on the evening of 7 June.

She had previously lived in Norton, Stockton-On-Tees, and moved to Manchester in January.

Her disappearance was described by police as "extremely out of character".

It is thought she was taken in a white camper van in the early hours of June 8 to the Thirsk area of North Yorkshire, where her body was disposed of.

As part of the investigation, detectives established that a white camper van travelled from Manchester to the A19 around the time of her disappearance.

It is believed the vehicle stopped at a layby by the side of the A19 in the early hours of Saturday 8 June 2013, but the exact location is still not known.

Police have sent letters to the keepers of 350 vehicles travelling on the A19 or A168 between the junctions with the A172 and A1(M) between the hours of 3am and 5am on Saturday 8 June 2013.

The letter asks the driver, or anyone travelling in the vehicle, to contact the investigation team if they have any information concerning the white camper van.

Detectives believe it was parked in a lay-by on the northbound carriageway during this time.

Detective superintendent Serena Kennedy, of GMP said: "Today's search is one of a number that have been carried out in recent weeks.

"GMP, supported by colleagues from North Yorkshire Police and the military, have been working tirelessly to find Rania and we will not stop until we can find her.

"We are also continuing to appeal to anyone who saw this white camper van and, in particular, if they saw it parked by the side of the road or in a layby.

"I would also like to thank the public for their tremendous response to this so far.

"I understand there might not be anything unusual about a camper van parked on a layby in the early hours and I recognise it might not have struck you as significant at the time.

"However, we have reason to believe that Rania's body could be located near to this stretch of road and this is where we have been concentrating our searches.

"If you believe you saw Rania after 7pm on 7 June 2013, we are keen to hear from you."

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating how GMP dealt with previous contact with Ms Alayed, who reported being a victim of domestic violence.

Ahmed Khatib, 33, of Knutsford Road in Gorton, Manchester is charged with murder and Muhanned Mahmood Al Khatib, 38, of Arthur Millwood Court, Salford, has been charged with murder and perverting the course of justice.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Life and Style
Mark's crab tarts are just the right size
food + drinkMark Hix cooks up some snacks that pack a punch
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect