POLICE have confirmed the body found at Accrington Cemetery is that of Lindsay Birbeck - and she died after being strangled.

The teaching assistant went missing from home on Monday, August 12, and a woman's body was found on Saturday at the cemetery.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Detectives have now confirmed the body is the 47-year-old.

A post mortem examination has been conducted and shows that Lindsay died as a result of compression of the neck.

Police said her family have been informed and continue to be supported by family liaison officers.

A police spokesman said: "We are aware of rumours circulating on social media about what may have happened to Lindsay and for the family’s sake we once again would urge people not to speculate as this is causing her loved ones significant additional distress at what is clearly an extremely difficult time for them."

A large team of detectives, uniformed officers and staff are working on the enquiry to establish what happened to Ms Birbeck after she went missing and to identify who was responsible for her death.

No arrests have been made at this stage.

Detectives are carrying out a review of CCTV, doing house to house enquiries and trying to piece together Ms Birbeck's movements since she was captured on CCTV on Burnley Road at just after 4pm on Monday, August 12.

Lancashire Telegraph:

READ: Memorial walk to take place for Huncoat mum-of-two Lindsay Birbeck

Detective Supt Andy Cribbin said: "This is a fast moving inquiry and I have a team of detectives and staff working around the clock to try and find out what has happened to Lindsay and to identify who has killed her.

“I would like to thank the community for their response to our appeals so far and to continue to urge anyone who has any information which could assist us to come forward.

“I need to find out where Lindsay has gone after she was last seen on CCTV on Burnley Road at just after 4pm on August 12th and what has happened to her.

"I would continue to 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 12th to come and speak to us.

“I would also like to speak to anyone who has seen anything suspicious in or around the cemetery area after August 12th or anyone who has any drone footage or dashcam footage which could assist.

“Please come forward with any information, no matter how insignificant you may think it is as it could help provide the answers Lindsay’s family desperately need.”

READ > Murder inquiry launched following discovery of body believed to be that of Lindsay Birbeck

Ms Birbeck was last seen wearing a purple Rab bubble jacket, black leggings, a white shirt with blue pin stripes and black trainers with a white sole. Her Huawei mobile phone is also missing.

The tragedy has sparked an outpouring of grief across East Lancashire, with hundreds of people having taken part in the search for Lindsay since she was last seen on August 12.

A respectful walk, requested by family, will now take place in memory of Lindsay on Thursday on the Coppice, Accrington.

Anybody who is interested in joining in is asked to gather at the Avenue Parade entrance of The Coppice from 6.30pm - everyone is welcome.

Speaking about the walk – and the closure of a Facebook group named ‘Lindsay’s Search’ which was set up in a bid to find the Huncoat woman, an admin said: “We are now archiving this group at the wishes of Lindsay’s family.

“Please note that everyone’s time and efforts have been appreciated but that we now need to let Lindsay’s family and friends come to term with this awful tragedy.

“A respectful evening walk is to take place on Thursday, August 29, at 6.30pm from Avenue Parade entrance of The Coppice.

“It has been requested by the family. “We politely ask that no Chinese lanterns are to be lit and let go please, there will be a place agreed with the family if you wish to place flowers.

“I reiterate to you all – stay safe and report anything that may help the police unveil this tragedy.

“Good night and god bless Lindsay.”

A donation page for Cancer Research UK has also been set up in Lindsay’s memory, a charity said to be close to her heart.

Police have urged anyone with information to submit it through the major crime web portal at https://mipp.police.uk/operation/0401020119E06-PO1

Alternatively call police on 101 quoting log number 0824 of August 26.