Sian detectives find human remains on Gloucester farm

Taxi-driver suspect told police where to look for second missing woman
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The Independent Online

Detectives investigating the murder of Sian O'Callaghan, whose body was found on Thursday, yesterday discovered another set of human remains in a Gloucestershire field.

Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher said Wiltshire Police had been told that the remains were those of a woman abducted in Swindon between 2003 and 2005. Police say the body has yet to be identified.

Special diggers and forensics teams made the find after police widened the search in a field on Baxter's Farm, near Eastleach, Gloucestershire, where they had been digging since late on Thursday.

Det Supt Fulcher said a 47-year-old man being held in connection with the two murder investigations told police when the second victim had been abducted. "[The man] indicated he killed a young woman between 2003 and 2005. He could not be specific about the date but he said she had been taken from the Swindon area," he said.

Police have declined to speculate on the identity of the second set of remains for fear of causing undue distress or raising false hope among relatives of missing people. The site is 17 miles from where Ms O'Callaghan's body was discovered.

Yesterday, police revealed that she had not been sexually assaulted.

Police are expected to charge a suspect, named locally as Christopher Halliwell, in connection with Ms O'Callaghan's death.

Yesterday, police were granted a further extension by magistrates in Swindon to hold the man being questioned in connection with her death. They have until 3.15am on Monday to question him further, before charging or releasing him.

Mr Halliwell, a taxi driver from Swindon, was arrested on Thursday after police swooped on a taxi rank at an Asda supermarket in the town. A green Toyota Avensis with taxi markings was also taken from the scene, for examination.

Det Supt Fulcher was taken by the suspect to the location where Ms O'Callaghan's body was found – near Uffington, Oxfordshire – and where the search for the second body began.

He appealed for anyone "lamping or poaching" in the area around Ramsbury, near Marlborough, in the early hours of last Saturday, when Ms O'Callaghan disappeared, to contact the police without "fear of arrest over their illegal activities".

It is understood that Ms O'Callaghan got into the Avensis a week ago, and police said that the "point of abduction" was caught on camera. She lived in a flat just half a mile away with her boyfriend, Kevin Reape, 25. On the night of her disappearance she sent a text message to her partner saying: "Where are you? x."

A lantern vigil in her memory was held at Swindon's Polo Ground last night. The Suju nightclub in Swindon, where she had spent the evening before she was abducted, reopened last night after hundreds of floral tributes were removed from the scene.

Ms O'Callaghan's family thanked members of the public who helped in the search for "our beautiful girl".