Emma Faulds: Police dog found body in forest search

Image caption,
Emma Faulds was last seen in April 2019

A police officer has told a murder trial about the moment he discovered Emma Faulds' body in a Galloway Forest.

The 39-year-old Ayrshire woman's body was found in June 2019 during an extensive search after she disappeared.

Det Con Ben Pacholek described how his police dog identified disturbed vegetation and barked to signal he had found something.

Ross Willox, 41, denies murdering Emma and concealing her body in Glentrool forest in April 2019.

A jury at the High Court in Glasgow heard that the dog handler was part of a massive police operation which searched forest areas in Dumfriesshire for Emma who was reported missing on 30 April, 2019.

Right foot

Det Con Pacholek said his dog Bear, who was specially trained to find dead bodies, began barking which indicated he had found something.

The officer returned to the spot to investigate further after donning sterile gloves.

Mr Kearney said: "What did you see", and the officer replied: "A right foot."

DC Pacholek said: "I lifted the vegetation to see if it was a body part or torso. I could see the lower portion of a naked body."

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Police sealed off an area of a forest in Dumfries and Galloway after Ms Faulds' body was found

Mr Kearney asked: "You had been searching for many days. What did you think you and Bear had achieved?"

The policeman, his voice breaking with emotion, replied: "That we had done what we set out to do and we found her."

The prosecutor then said: "Emma Faulds," and the police officer agreed.

The court heard that DC Pacholek and Bear joined the search on 21 May and by mid-June had walked more than 200 miles.

Nearby wind farm

When asked by prosecutor Paul Kearney why that area in Glentrool Forest had been chosen to search DC Pacholek replied: "The accused had some involvement in working on a wind farm nearby."

Mr Kearney said: "It was known that Ross Willox had previously worked on wind farms in the Galloway area," and he replied: "Yes."

The prosecutor then asked if the searches were intelligence led and the policeman replied: "Absolutely."

Defence QC Donald Findlay asked the officer: "Is there a wind farm anywhere near the deposition site," and he replied: "No".

Asked where was the nearest wind farm in relation to the spot where Emma's body was found, he replied: "Less than 10 miles away perhaps."

Willox denies all the charges against him.

The trial before judge Lord Mulholland continues.

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