Lindsay Birbeck: Locals join search for missing Lancashire woman

Lindsay Birbeck Image copyright Lancashire Police
Image caption Lindsay Birbeck was last seen on CCTV walking on Burnley Road in Huncoat

Hundreds of local residents in Lancashire have joined a search for a woman who has been missing for a week.

Lindsay Birbeck, 47, was last seen walking on Burnley Road in Huncoat near Accrington on 12 August at 16:00 BST. Her family said her disappearance was "completely out of character".

A witness reported seeing her on Peel Park Avenue half an hour later.

A drone and helicopter were being used to search The Coppice, behind Burnley Road, and nearby land.

'Incredible support'

Police said they believed Ms Birbeck, who worked as a teaching assistant, could have walked into a wooded area.

About 200 local people joined the search on Monday evening after a Facebook group page was set up to help share information.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and Mountain Rescue teams are also involved in the search.

Police diving teams are also checking areas of water in the area, including near Plantation Road.

Image copyright Jordan Taylor
Image caption Hundreds of locals turned up to join the search on Monday evening
Image copyright LFRS
Image caption Lancashire Fire's search and rescue dog, Sid, has been deployed to help in the search

On the day she disappeared, the mother-of-two was captured on CCTV opposite Accrington Cemetery, walking towards Peel Park Avenue.

She has links to Accrington and Burnley, as well as Kendal, Cumbria, police said.

She is described as white, slim, 5ft 11in, with shoulder-length dark hair. She was wearing a purple bubble jacket and black leggings and trainers.

The witness also told police she saw a man walking a black Labrador towards the same path and he may have seen which way Ms Birbeck went.

Image copyright LFRS
Image caption A drone and helicopter are also being used to help search for the mother-of-two

Det Insp Tim McDermott said: "I reiterate this is a missing person inquiry and there is no evidence at this time that Lindsay has been the victim of any criminal act."

He added that the support from the local community had been "incredible".

He advised locals joining the search to stick to "recognised paths" and dress appropriately.

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