Birmingham & Black Country

Natalie Putt: Dudley woodland searched over missing mother

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Media captionNatalie Putt: Dudley woodland searched in missing mum hunt

Police investigating the disappearance of a 17-year-old mother 14 years ago are searching woodland.

Graves were dug up in June after new information was revealed about Natalie Putt, from Lower Gornal, Dudley, who went missing in 2003, leaving behind her 11-week old son.

Police say "the intelligence picture has changed significantly since then."

Officers, including an underwater unit, are conducting searches at woodland in Ellowes Hall Wood, Lower Gornal.

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Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Natalie Putt left her home in Lower Gornal to go to a shop in September 2003

West Midlands Police said it had received "credible information" which had led officers to the wood.

In June, detectives confirmed Ms Putt's disappearance was being treated as a murder inquiry.

Graves at Ruiton Cemetery in Upper Gornal were examined.

Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Graves were examined in June of this year

Det Supt Tom Chisholm, Head of Homicide, said the information received has been "corroborated by separate sources" and is new information that was not known in June.

"I am convinced that there are people who still live in the area who hold the key to solving the disappearance of Natalie. I would urge those people to come forward."

Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption No-one has been charged in connection with Natalie Putt's disappearance

Ms Putt went missing on 1 September 2003 when she was making a trip to local shops.

An 18-year-old man was arrested in 2004 in connection with her disappearance but was later released without charge.

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