Police 'very close' to whereabouts of missing clubber

Police looking for missing nightclubber Sian O'Callaghan were "very close to identifying" her whereabouts, the detective leading the inquiry said today.

The announcement was made after the detailed search of dense woodland was narrowed following a breakthrough in mobile phone technology.



Specialist search teams were examining specific "hotspots" within the 4,500-acre Savernake Forest, near Marlborough, Wiltshire.



The use of mobile phone technology had pinpointed several areas of interest to the police and had allowed them to rule out large areas of the forest.



Around 400 members of the public, including friends and family of the missing office administrator, had joined police yesterday in the painstaking search of the woodland.



Today, police asked people to stay away from Savernake Forest - around 15 miles from where Miss O'Callaghan was last seen on Saturday - as the thorough search continued.



After a day's intensive examination of the thick undergrowth, Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher, who is leading the inquiry, said: "We have made good progress in narrowing the search using a number of technologies and techniques and I believe we are getting very close to identifying Sian's whereabouts.



"Searches will be limited by available daylight but we will be further assisted by specialist dog teams who arrive tomorrow and resume the search effort as soon as daylight permits.



"Whilst I still want anyone with information to contact police I am not asking for any more public assistance with searches at this stage."









Earlier, Mr Fulcher said the inquiry was moving at a "rapid pace" with "significant lines of inquiry being developed".



He added: "The public have been fantastic in support of the search for Sian O'Callaghan and I'm very grateful.



"I've been able to use new technological techniques to provide a tighter search parameter and have been able to rule out large areas of the six-and-a-half-mile radius we have all been searching."



Police would not discuss the technological breakthrough but revealed earlier this week that phone masts put Miss O'Callaghan's mobile phone somewhere in the 4,500-acre forest just 34 minutes after she left Suju nightclub in Swindon at 2.52am on Saturday.



It was a journey that could only have been made by car, police said.



Miss O'Callaghan was caught on CCTV leaving the nightclub, in Swindon's Old Town area, after an evening out with girl friends.



The 22-year-old lived just half-a-mile away with her boyfriend Kevin Reape, 25, in a flat but she never made it home.



Police have spent days searching the forest's undergrowth and were inundated yesterday with help from members of the public.



Yesterday, an anonymous donor offered a £20,000 reward for information leading directly to Miss O'Callaghan being found.



Police have issued a new poster, with details of the reward, which is being pinned up across Wiltshire by volunteers and also warned people to be extra careful and not to be out walking alone.



The poster includes a picture of Miss O'Callaghan and CCTV footage of her leaving the club.



St Barnabas Church in Gorse Hill, Swindon, will open its doors at 7pm for a "Vigil Service And Prayer For The Safe Return Of Sian O'Callaghan", which was advertised on Facebook.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'