Police discover two bodies in search for missing woman

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The Independent Online

Police believe they have found the bodies of the missing nursery nurse Amanda Edwards and a man arrested in connection with her disappearance.

Officers involved in the eight-day hunt for Miss Edwards, 21, found a body at a building site in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, yesterday. They said they were awaiting the results of forensic tests but indicated they believed the body was Miss Edwards's.

Officers leading the investigation said they had also found the body of a man, believed to be Ian Cortis, 48, who had been arrested in connection with Miss Edwards's disappearance.

Mr Cortis was released without charge by police late on Thursday night. His body was found in Calne yesterday, about 20 minutes drive from where Miss Edwards's body is believed to have been dumped.

Wiltshire Police said there were "no suspicious circumstances" surrounding his death.

Detective Chief Superintendent Paul Howlett said: "It is with deep regret that I am announcing that we have located a body. The circumstances lead us to believe we have located Amanda's body. I have informed Amanda's family and they are devastated."

Miss Edwards, who lived with her parents in Purton, near Swindon, disappeared after giving her 19-year-old boyfriend a lift to his home in Calne on Thursday morning last week.

When she failed to meet a friend for a pre-arranged lunch the alarm was raised and her green Rover Metro was found in a supermarket car park close to her home that evening. Neither her mobile phone nor bank account had been used since her disappearance.

Searches were conducted at several locations until police arrived at The Knoll, a development of upmarket homes some 13 miles from Amanda's home. Contractors had been working at the site as recently as Thursday evening.

Police refused to discuss suggestions that Mr Corbis, believed to have been a construction worker, had worked at the site. He was arrested on Monday night and released on Thursday without charge.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission said it had been invited by the Wiltshire police to supervise an investigation, into Mr Corbis's death.