Beds, Herts & Bucks

Natalia Doherty murder inquiry: Luton garden examined by officers

Natalia and Gerald Doherty Image copyright Bedfordshire Police
Image caption Natalia Doherty (left) went to stay with her ex-husband Gerald in Luton shortly before her last confirmed sighting

A garden at a property in Luton is being examined by officers investigating the disappearance of a 50-year-old woman police now believe was murdered.

Natalia Doherty was last seen on 15 April 2003 in Eastbourne, where she was living at the time.

The house in Icknield Way was searched in September as part of the investigation.

Two men were later arrested and bailed in connection with the disappearance.

A Luton man, aged 66, and a 71-year-old man from Port Glasgow, Inverclyde, were detained on suspicion of assisting an offender and preventing a lawful burial.

Officers said ground survey work was now being carried out on the surface of the garden to see if the ground had been disturbed.

No sightings

Detectives believe that near to the date she was last seen alive, Ms Doherty - who was also known by the surnames Wilkanowska and Logan - was thought to have travelled to Luton to stay with her ex-husband, Gerald Doherty, who has since died - at the Regents Arms in Hastings Street.

But there were no confirmed sightings of the mother-of-three in the town.

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Police made two arrests after searching an address in Icknield Way, Luton in September

Officers from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire major crime unit launched an investigation in January 2014 into the case, which has led them to believe Ms Doherty was murdered.

A police spokesman said: "Inquiries have since failed to show any sign she is alive."

Investigators are keen to trace her final movements and has asked anyone who recognises her or Mr Doherty from their time at the now-demolished pub in Hastings Street, or has any information relating to her disappearance, to contact them.

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