A MURDER inquiry has been launched as detectives say the body of a woman found in a cemetery is believed to be that of missing mum-of-two Lindsay Birbeck. 

A senior detective said it was ‘the news that nobody wanted to hear’ as he confirmed police believe the body found in Accrington Cemetery by a dog walker on Saturday evening was that of the higher level teaching assistant from Huncoat. 

And while formal identification has yet to take place, Detective Superintendent Andy Cribbin said a murder investigation has been launched to find out how the woman came to her death.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Speaking from the scene this afternoon, Det Supt Cribbin said: “On Saturday evening, we received a call from a member of the public which resulted in police officers attending Accrington Cemetery. 

“There, sadly, we found the body of a woman and as a result of our investigations regarding that we have launched a murder investigation.

“Whilst we’re yet to formally identify the body, we believe at this stage that it is Lindsay and we have informed the family of all the developments and family liaison officers are with them.”

Officers - who don’t know how long the body had been in the cemetery - are continuing to appeal for information in a bid to find the 47-year-old’s killer. 

No arrests have been made and Det Supt Cribbin confirmed officers are pursuing ‘various lines of enquiry’ when it comes to a suspect. 

A man earlier sought by police as  a witness has been found and spoken to.

Lancashire Telegraph:

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Det Chf Insp Jill Johnston said: “The picture of Lindsay on CCTV on Burnley Road is the last sighting we have of her and I need to find out where she has gone after that point and what has happened to her.

"I would appeal for anyone with CCTV, especially in the area of Peel Park Avenue, to come forward and I would also like to speak to anyone who thinks they saw Lindsay, or anyone matching her description, or who saw anything suspicious in that area on the afternoon or evening of August 12 to come and speak to us.”

Anyone who thinks they may have seen anything suspicious in and around the cemetery, or anyone with drone footage from around that time is also asked to come forward.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Lindsay’s disappearance sparked a mass search with thousands of members of the community trying to help find her.

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Search and rescue volunteers, mounted police and search dogs were also involved.

Anyone with information should call 101.