Karen Buckley missing: Parents 'desperate' for return of Glasgow student after handbag found

Police said they were 'gravely concerned' for her safety after she vanished

Lizzie Dearden
Thursday 16 April 2015 09:30 BST
Marian and John Buckley, parents of missing Karen Buckley, at a press conference in Glasgow.
Marian and John Buckley, parents of missing Karen Buckley, at a press conference in Glasgow. (PA)

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The parents of a missing student who disappeared on a night out in Glasgow are “desperate” for her to come home after police said they were “gravely concerned” for her safety.

Karen Buckley, 24, was with friends on Saturday night but vanished from the club they were in at 1am.

She told the group she was going to the toilet but did not return, leaving her jacket.

Police said they have traced her to the north-west of the city in the early hours of Sunday morning and are investigating her movements from there.

Karen Buckley went missing in the early hours of Sunday 12 April
Karen Buckley went missing in the early hours of Sunday 12 April (PA)

Today her parents appeared at a press conference to appeal for information after flying in from their home in Ireland.

Her mother, Marian Buckley, said: “We just want Karen home safely - we are desperate. She is our only daughter, we love her dearly.

"If anybody has any information please come forward, we would dearly appreciate it."

Miss Buckley, from Cork, is studying occupational therapy at Glasgow Caledonian University.

After drinking with her housemates at their flat in Garnethill, they went to the Sanctuary nightclub in Partick at around 11.45pm.

These are photos taken of Karen Buckley on the night, Saturday 11th April 2015, 3 hours before she went missing. She...

Posted by Please Help Find Karen missing in Glasgow on Monday, 13 April 2015

She was seen outside on CCTV talking to a man and then walking west along Dumbarton Road towards Church Street.

Detective Superintendent Jim Kerr, from Greater Glasgow Police, said two men Miss Buckley was seen with after leaving the club had been traced and were not suspects at this stage.

“From what we can see, she does not appear under duress,” he added.

“There's no sign of a struggle or reluctance on her part to leave the club.

“However, that does not mean that nothing untoward has happened to her.”

Police found her handbag in Dawsholm Park this afternoon, two miles away from the club.

Miss Buckley’s coat has not been recovered from the night club and there has been no activity on her social media accounts since her disappearance.

“Why she left so suddenly without telling her friends, we just don’t know - it’s very much out of character,” Det Supt Kerr added.

“The objective of this inquiry is to trace Karen safe and well and that remains our priority.

“We’re gravely concerned that Karen has come to some harm, whether that’s due to foul play, criminality or if she was taken unwell or had an accident.

“She’s a lovely girl and, as you've seen, she’s close to her family and popular with her friends.”

Police outside flats Dorchester Avenue in Glasgow, which was visited by missing student Karen Buckley in the early hours of Sunday.
Police outside flats Dorchester Avenue in Glasgow, which was visited by missing student Karen Buckley in the early hours of Sunday. (PA)

Miss Buckley’s friends said she had been drinking but was not drunk and could “take care of herself” after travelling extensively in the US, Thailand and South Africa.

She also spent a year at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Essex before beginning her course in Glasgow in 2014.

She is described as white, around 155-160cm tall (5ft 2ins), with dark hair and brown eyes.

Miss Buckley was wearing long black curly hair extensions at the time of her disappearance, an all-in-one black jumpsuit with red high heels and a black handbag. She speaks with an Irish accent.

Police are also trying to trace a grey car seen on country roads between Milngavie and Drymen between 11am and 3pm on Monday.

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 number and ask for the incident room at Govan Police Office, or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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