Claire Holland: Police launch investigation into disappearance of Bristol woman

Detectives now believe 32-year-old’s vanishing was linked to crime

Chiara Giordano
Tuesday 16 November 2021 15:15
<p>Police have begun a major search for Claire Holland, 32, who went missing in Bristol in 2012</p>

Police have begun a major search for Claire Holland, 32, who went missing in Bristol in 2012

Police have begun a major search for a woman who has been missing since 2012.

Claire Holland, 32, from Lawrence Weston, in Bristol, was last seen on the evening of 6 June, the day after the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend.

Avon and Somerset Police has now revealed her disappearance is believed to be linked to a crime and is being treated as suspicious.

The force’s major crime investigation team has released CCTV footage showing Ms Holland on the day she disappeared.

Several targeted searches in and around the Bristol area are also being carried out over the next few days.

Senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Darren Hannant said: “We’d like the public to cast their mind back to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend, which was on the weekend of 2-5 June in 2012. Claire went missing the day after this significant national event.

“CCTV shows Claire walking along Baldwin Street heading towards the Seamus O’Donnell’s pub at around 9.30pm on Wednesday 6 June.

“We don’t have any footage showing where she went afterwards, but staff have confirmed she did leave the pub later that evening just after closing time, around 11.15pm.

“It is possible she headed in the direction of the Fountains, near the Harbourside, but we don’t have any footage of her doing so, despite extensive reviews of more than 1,000 hours of available CCTV.

“At this time, we’re treating Claire’s disappearance as suspicious. Claire had no known reason to go missing of her own accord and had made plans for the week following her disappearance.”

A specialist dive team is to take part in the searches, which will start in the city centre and move out to other areas throughout the week.

Detectives are appealing for information from the public who might have been at Seamus O’Donnell’s on the night Ms Holland was last seen and may be able to identify who spoke to her that evening, or if they recognise the woman from the CCTV footage and saw her walking after 11pm in the city centre or elsewhere.

Ms Holland is described as white, 5ft, of slim build, with shoulder-length brown hair, which was sometimes tied back in a ponytail.

Friends or acquaintances of Ms Holland who did not speak to the police at the time she went missing are asked to come forward to provide information about her and what she was doing in the days and weeks leading up to her disappearance.

Anyone who has been told information about the case which may have sounded unusual or suspicious are also being asked to get in contact with police.

Those who were Facebook friends with Ms Holland will be sent a message on social media and are urged to call the police with any information they think would help inquiries.

A 37-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of her murder in 2019.

The man, who is now 39, remains released under investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 and give the reference number 5219172645.

Alternatively, you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via their website http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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