A WITNESS who had a conversation with a woman who matches the description of a missing mum-of-two from Huncoat is assisting police with their investigation. 

The search for Lindsay Birbeck has now moved into its sixth day, with the higher-level teaching assistant from Burnley having last been spotted on CCTV walking along Burnley Road at around 4pm on Monday.

Officers have now said they have spoken with a witness who described having a conversation with a lady matching Lindsay's description at the top of Peel Park Avenue at around 4.30pm.

The witness said the lady they spoke to turned left from the road onto the path at the end of the road.

The same witness saw a man walking a black Labrador towards the same path and it is possible that the dog walker may know what direction Lindsay went in. 

A further appeal to track down the dog walker has since been launched.

He is described as white, aged in his late 40s, 5ft 6in tall, of medium build with short dark hair and glasses. He is believed to have been wearing a dark jacket or coat.

Yesterday, Det Insp Tim McDermott, of Lancashire Police, said: “We believe this man would have seen Lindsay around 4.30pm at the top of Peel Park Avenue, close to the allotments, on the day she went missing. 

“If this is you, or you recognise the man described, please come forward immediately. 

There are no other confirmed sightings on that day or since. 

Speaking about the investigation, Det Insp McDermott said: "We’ve been undertaking extensive searches all week involving large teams from Lancashire Constabulary, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service as well as a number of volunteers from Mountain Rescue teams.

"In addition, the police drone and helicopter have been deployed to survey the area. These searches have encompassed The Coppice, to the rear of Burnley Road, as well as the surrounding open land for a considerable distance including popular walking and running routes.

"I reiterate this is a missing person enquiry and there is no evidence at this time that Lindsay has been the victim of any criminal act.

"A large team of dedicated detectives, working in partnership with the search teams, are conducting numerous enquiries and are following up on information provided from the public. Lindsay’s family have been updated throughout by specialist officers.

"The support that the investigation team has had from the local community has been incredible and I would appeal to the public to continue to report anything they think relevant. I am aware that groups from the local community are also out in the area looking for Lindsay and I would encourage them to continue the co-operation they’ve shown with our systematic professional searching and also to keep themselves safe on recognised paths, wearing clothing suitable for the conditions.

"We share the deep concern of the family and the local community for Lindsay’s whereabouts and I would reassure everyone that we are doing all that can be done to find her. I appreciate the concern shown from the public and we will continue to share any information that we think may help find Lindsay.”

Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting log 0016 of August 13. For immediate sightings please call 999.