Police 'very close' to finding missing Sian O'Callaghan

Sian O'Callaghan and boyfriend Kevin Reape
Image caption Miss O'Callaghan's boyfriend Kevin Reape joined in the search for her on Tuesday

Police investigating the disappearance of a woman after she left a Swindon nightclub believe they are "very close" to identifying her whereabouts.

Sian O'Callaghan, 22, went missing on Saturday after failing to return home.

Det Supt Steve Fulcher said the search had made "good progress" but would be limited to daylight hours and would be assisted by dog teams on Thursday.

"I believe we are getting very close to identifying Sian's whereabouts," he said.

He added he was not asking for any more public assistance at this stage.

Earlier on Wednesday detectives said "significant lines of inquiry" were being developed.

Mr Fulcher said he had now discounted large parts of the forest and the inquiry was moving rapidly.

He said new techniques had given police a "tighter search parameter".

Mr Fulcher said the public were no longer being asked to join the search but appealed for anyone with any information to contact police.

Miss O'Callaghan has been missing since leaving the Suju club to walk half a mile (800m) home to the flat she shares with boyfriend Kevin Reape, 25, at about 0250 GMT on Saturday.

'Urgently progressed'

A signal from her mobile phone was picked up from Savernake Forest, near Marlborough.

Mobile records put her phone in the area of the 4,500-acre wood 32 minutes after she left the club.

Police have said Miss O'Callaghan's journey to the woods could only have been made by car.

Mr Fulcher said: "I've been able to use new technological techniques to provide a tighter search parameter and have been able to rule out large areas of the six-and-a-half mile radius we have all been searching.

Image caption Search teams are now concentrating on specific parts of the forest

"Those tactics are being urgently progressed today by specialists."

He added: "The inquiry moves on at a rapid pace with significant lines of inquiry being developed.

"The public have been fantastic in support of the search for Sian O'Callaghan and I'm very grateful.

"I may need further support from the public closer to the weekend but for now I would ask that people monitor the force website, media and social networks for my further requests if they are required."

Ch Supt Steve Headley said further use of mobile phone technology had produced several "hot spots" that specialist search teams were examining.

"That doesn't mean we are going to find anything specific, but we have got more of an idea from the technology where to look first," he said.

Prayer vigil

Mr Headley added that Miss O'Callaghan's family were coping "as well as you or I would in these situations".

"It must be awful for them," he said.

Her friends and her boyfriend joined the search on Tuesday along with coach loads of local people, many of whom did not know the missing woman, after a police appeal for help.

A £20,000 reward to help find her has been offered by an anonymous donor.

Miss O'Callaghan, who works as an office administrator, had an LG E900 Optimus mobile phone and police have asked for anyone who finds one to contact the force.

A vigil and prayer service was held for her at St Barnabas Church in Gorse Hill, Swindon, on Wednesday evening.

About 200 people of all ages came together for the service and worshippers were able to light candles and say private prayers.

More than 60 police officers are working on the investigation which is being treated as a missing person inquiry.

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