Body found in hunt for missing nurse

A body believed to be that of 44-year-old Rui Li was found hidden in a car

A body has been found in the search for missing nurse Rui Li, police said on Saturday.

Detectives believe the body found hidden in a car to be that of the 44-year-old, who has not been seen since the evening of Friday 23 May.

Two men remain in custody on suspicion of murdering Ms Li, Dorset Police said.

Officers said they discovered the body “concealed within a silver Fiat Punto” with the registration number W887 PDL, along Verwood Crescent in north Bournemouth.

Ms Li's next of kin has been informed, police said.

Specialist officers are carrying out a forensic examination of the vehicle and the surrounding area, which is some four miles from Ms Li's home address in Burnham Drive.

Detective inspector Marcus Hester said detectives will continue to appeal for anyone who has any information about Ms Li's movements.

Mr Hester said: “This remains a very proactive investigation and we are still appealing for the public's assistance.”

He went on: “We now wish to speak with anyone who has any information about the silver Fiat Punto, W887 PDL. This car may have been seen in the area of Cromer Motors on St Clements Road and on or around Knyveton Road in Boscombe between May 25 and 28.

"We also believe that this vehicle travelled between Verwood and Hengistbury Head on May 28.

“We are also appealing for information about the movement of a large white Ford Transit van, Y491 GFT. We believe that this van may have been seen in and around the Cromer Motors site and also Burnham Drive between May 24 and 27.

"Anyone with any information about these vehicles should contact Dorset Police as soon as possible."

Ms Li was last seen alive by her 18-year-old daughter at her home and was reported missing four days later.

Lu Yao has appealed for information about her mother's whereabouts and urged her mother to get in touch, even if she ”just wanted to get away“.

In a police statement, Miss Yao said: "I haven't seen my mum since Friday night when she came home.

“The last time I saw mum she looked happy and was smiling - talking about my studies.

"My mum is a very conscientious and caring nurse and never lets anyone down. She is a very loving mum, supporting me with my studies from when I came to the UK from China.

“She prides herself on her timekeeping and my mum has never gone missing before. This is completely out of character and I am very worried. I really miss her and I just want her home.

"Mum, if you're safe and just want to get away please just let us know you are OK. If anyone knows where my mum is please tell the police."

Extensive investigations are ongoing, with forensic experts having examined Ms Li's home, as well as properties in Wolverton Road and Spring Road, a flat in Sea Road and Cromer Motors in St Clement's Road, all in Boscombe, and Mean Road, Southbourne.

Ms Li's distinctive Porsche Boxster, with personalised number plate L1 RUI, was found outside a property in Wolverton Road. Several vehicles have also been seized.

Police had earlier released CCTV of Ms Li leaving the car park at Poole Hospital, where she worked, at 6.17pm on Friday 23May.

Detectives said she moved to the UK from China a decade ago and has worked at the hospital since 2009.

They said Ms Li lived "quite a private personal life" and officers were trying to build a picture of her lifestyle.

Two Bournemouth men arrested on suspicion of murder, aged 26 and 60, are continuing to be questioned. These men are known to Ms Li and to each other, police said.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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