Body at farm is missing student Karen Buckley

Karen Buckley Image copyright REX Shutterstock

Police investigating the disappearance of Karen Buckley have confirmed a body discovered near Glasgow is the missing Cork student.

Miss Buckley was reported missing after a night out in Glasgow on Saturday.

The 24-year-old's body was found at a farm to the north of the city following a four-day search.

A 21-year-old man is expected to appear in court on Friday in connection with her death.

Det Supt Jim Kerr said: "We cannot imagine the pain and suffering of Karen's family and friends and our thoughts are with them at this very sad and distressing time."

The police officer thanked members of the public in Ireland and Scotland for their assistance, and described their efforts as "very, very helpful".

Image caption Det Supt Jim Kerr read a statement on behalf of Karen Buckley's family

Det Supt Kerr also read a statement on behalf of Karen's father John.

It said: "Marian and I, together with our sons Brendan, Kieran and Damian, are absolutely heartbroken.

"Karen was our only daughter, cherished by our family and loved by her friends. She was an outgoing girl who travelled the world where she met lots of people and thoroughly enjoyed her life. We will miss her terribly.

"We would be very grateful if we could now be left alone to grieve with her family and friends."

Specialist police divers, a helicopter crew and search dogs were all involved in the search for the qualified nurse, who moved to Glasgow in February to study occupational therapy at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU).

Her handbag was discovered in Glasgow's Dawsholm Park on Tuesday and officers later began searching land around High Craigton Farm near Milngavie.

The man who is expected to appear at a private hearing in Glasgow Sheriff Court on Friday was formally arrested after being detained for questioning on Wednesday.

Miss Buckley was seen on CCTV leaving Glasgow's Sanctuary nightclub with a man in the early hours of Sunday.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Police Scotland cordoned off land around the farm and a nearby golf course
Image copyright Google
Image copyright Other
Image caption Police officers remained at the farm on Thursday morning
Image copyright PA
Image caption A fire appliance was among the emergency service vehicles called to the farm
Image caption Flowers were left at the scene where Karen Buckley's body was found.

She had arrived at the nightclub with friends at about 23:45 on Saturday and at about 01:00 she told them she was going to the toilet. She failed to return and did not take her jacket.

Her friends have said she had had a few drinks, but was not drunk.

Police said later that they had traced a man who told them he had travelled with Miss Buckley by car to a flat in Dorchester Avenue, in the Kelvinside area of the city, but he said she had left at about 04:00 on Sunday.

A special prayer service was held near her home in Mallow on Wednesday, and a fundraising page set up by Miss Buckley's former classmates to support her family has raised more than £50,000.

Ireland's minister for foreign affairs, Charlie Flanagan, said the thoughts and prayers of everyone in the country were with the Buckley family.

He added: "On behalf of the government, I wish to express appreciation for all that has been done by the Scottish authorities, and especially Police Scotland in Glasgow, to find Karen and to support the Buckley family throughout this very difficult time."

Professor Pamela Gillies, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University, said: "The GCU community is deeply saddened by the news of the loss of our student Karen Buckley.

"On behalf of all of us at the University, I offer my sincere condolences to her parents, family, friends and classmates. It is so tragic to lose someone so young and talented in such difficult circumstances.

"Karen's lecturers describe her as a lovely young woman, who was conscientious and a good team player, popular with her peers, and looking forward to a successful career in occupational therapy.

"The University is in contact with Karen's family and fellow students to offer our support at this time."