Sian police name second victim
Tuesday 05 April 2011
The family of a woman whose remains were discovered by detectives investigating the murder of Sian O'Callaghan today spoke of their devastation over the death of their "beautiful daughter".
Becky Godden-Edwards - who would have been 29 yesterday - was last seen by her family around eight years ago.
She had become "disconnected" from relatives after falling into the drug scene.
They said today: "The family is completely devastated by the news of Becky's death and at this time wish to be left alone to grieve for our beautiful daughter."
Her remains were discovered at a Cotswold beauty spot after taxi driver Christopher Halliwell, 47, was arrested for the murder of Sian O'Callaghan.
He informed police about the location.
Officers have been scouring databases for more than a week in a bid to work out who was buried in the shallow grave on farmland.
The remains were found during painstaking excavation work at a site at Baxter's Farm, Eastleach, around 17 miles from where Miss O'Callaghan's body was discovered.
Today, Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher, who is leading the inquiry, said: "As you are aware, as part of the investigation into Sian O'Callaghan, we searched a field in Eastleach, Gloucestershire, where we discovered human remains.
"Since we spoke last we have been searching the DNA database and seeking to develop a DNA profile from the bones that were recovered.
"Yesterday we were able to provide a positive hit from the DNA database and identify that body as that of Rebecca Godden-Edwards, known to her family and friends as Becky.
"It was Becky's birthday yesterday and she would have been 29 years old.
"As you will appreciate, Becky's family and loved ones are trying to come to terms with this devastating news and we are affording them all the comfort and sympathy we can at this time, helping them come to terms with their grief.
"I'm sure you will join with me in extending our deepest sympathies to the Edwards family."
Miss Godden-Edwards' family also released two photographs of her today - one at her mother Karen's wedding when she was 15 and another three years later aged 18.
Police said she had grown up in the Shaw area of Swindon with her mother, father and brother.
Miss Godden-Edwards' parents had divorced and her mother later remarried, becoming Karen Edwards.
Her family lost contact with Miss Godden-Edwards in 2003 after she fell into the drugs world.
They initially did not report her missing to the police and they thought she was living in the Bristol area.
It was not until 2007 that they reported her missing to the National Missing Persons Helpline.
Last year a woman called Karen Edwards posted a message on the website missing-you.net: "Karen Edwards is trying to trace the location of Becky she has been missing for 8 years, and I need to contact her urgent or just to know that she is ok! can anyone help? she could also be in the Bristol area."
Miss Godden-Edwards' led a "chaotic lifestyle" and detectives are appealing for help in trying to piece together her last known movements.
"At this stage it isn't clear how Becky came to meet her death but further work is ongoing to help us determine this," Mr Fulcher told reporters.
"Inquiries are continuing to establish the circumstances surrounding Becky's disappearance and subsequent death.
"Part of these inquiries will be to speak to Chris Halliwell and then we will make a decision on any appropriate steps to take.
"What I am appealing for is for anyone who knew Becky Godden-Edwards from 2002 onwards, who may have information to help the investigation, if they would please contact the police or indeed Crimestoppers.
"What I am interested in is Becky's movements, her friends, her lifestyle, any small piece of information which may help me piece back together how she came to meet her death.
"I will respect confidences where people ask for it."
Police launched a major inquiry when Miss O'Callaghan, a 22-year-old personal assistant, disappeared on March 19 following a night out with friends.
She was last seen alive in CCTV footage filmed close to the Suju nightclub in Swindon, only half a mile from the flat she shared with her boyfriend, Kevin Reape, 25.
She had sent a text message to her partner on the night of her disappearance, saying: "Where are you? x."
Following Halliwell's arrest at a taxi rank at an Asda supermarket in Swindon, police recovered Miss O'Callaghan's body near the Uffington White Horse in Oxfordshire. An inquest heard last week that she is likely to have died from head injuries.
Following Halliwell's arrest on suspicion of Miss O'Callaghan's kidnap police began searching for a second body at Eastleach.
They later found Miss Godden-Edwards's remains in a shallow grave. Her naked body had been covered by a thin layer of top soil.
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