Police search for mystery second body in O'Callaghan murder case

Police investigating the killing of Sian O'Callaghan spent yesterday scouring farmland on the outskirts of another village in the Cotswolds as they hunted for a second body.

The body of Ms O'Callaghan, 22, was found by police on Thursday afternoon near the Oxfordshire village of Uffington, shortly after the arrest of a 47-year-old taxi driver who has been named locally as Chris Halliwell.

He has been arrested on suspicion of kidnap and two counts of murder. Magistrates in Swindon last night granted police an extra 24 hours to question Mr Halliwell.

Wiltshire police confirmed yesterday they had been taken to the site of Ms O'Callaghan's body by the suspect himself. But detectives revealed they were also led to a second site, in Gloucestershire, where it is believed a second adult, who disappeared "several years ago", may be buried.

Detectives refused to speculate on the identity of the second victim but believe that searches will lead them to Wiltshire's "one outstanding" missing person. They would not comment on reports that the remains could belong to mother-of-three Tina Pryer, 39, who was last seen getting in a taxi in Trowbridge in 2001. They also declined to discuss reports they had been in contact with Somerset police regarding the 1996 disappearance of Melanie Hall.

The body of Swindon teacher Linda Razzell, 41, has also never been found after she went missing in 2002. Her husband Glyn was convicted of her murder but always protested his innocence.

Police spent the day searching farmland on the outskirts of Eastleach, a remote Cotswolds village. Forensic officers excavated two trenches in the corner of a field close to Baxter's Farm, five miles to the south of the town of Burford.

Julian Selby-Rickards, who lives in the village, said: "This is such a sleepy backwater sort of place. There were police helicopters flying around but we thought nothing of it until we saw the road blocks. It's desperately sad. I can only hope that if they do find someone, it will bring closure to their loved ones."

On the steps of Suju, the Swindon nightclub where Ms O'Callaghan was last seen alive early on Saturday morning, tributes and flowers piled up. "You were a great person and friend," read one note. "I knew you for 15 years since Drove Primary School and we stayed in touch since. Will remember your trademark big smile was lovely."

Police say mobile phone records have shown that Sian was in the Savernake Forest area half an hour after her disappearance, leading officers to conclude that she must have been driven there. Her body, however, was found 40 miles east, in Uffington.

Steve Fulcher, the lead detective in the inquiry, said yesterday that he thought Sian's body had been moved from the place where she was murdered. He added that officers had found CCTV images of her being abducted which helped them focus their efforts on locating a green Toyota taxi.

Post-mortem examinations were still being carried out on Ms O'Callaghan's body, he said, adding: "This is a tragic situation. I have spoken to the family ... our thoughts are with Sian and her family."

Suggested Topics
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Chocolat author Joanne Harris has spoken about the financial struggles most authors face
books
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' is based on historical events
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
filmSir Ian McKellen will play retired detective in new film
Life and Style
tech
News
Justin Bieber performing in Paris earlier this year
people
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman and Lauren O'Neil in Jamie Lloyd's Richard III
theatreReview: The monarch's malign magnetism and diabolic effrontery aren’t felt
Arts and Entertainment
'Molecular Man +1+1+1' by Jonathan Borofsky at Yorkshire Sculpture park
tv
News
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
Extras
indybest
News
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Sport
Alexis Sanchez and apparently his barber Carlos Moles in Barcelona today
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil