Katie Kenyon: Sister's 'heartbreak' as man, 50, appears in court accused of murder

·3-min read
A man has been charged with the murder of Katie Kenyon. (PA)
A man has been charged with the murder of Katie Kenyon. (PA)

A 50-year-old man has appeared in court accused of the murder of missing mother-of-two Katie Kenyon.

Andrew Burfield, of Todmorden Road, Burnley, was remanded into custody to appear at Preston Crown Court on Friday following an appearance at Blackburn Magistrates' Court on Thursday morning.

Burfield, wearing police issue grey joggers and sweatshirt, spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth.

His solicitor, Glenn Smith, said there was no indication of a plea.

Ms Kenyon, 33, from Burnley, has not been seen since last Friday morning and police are continuing a search for her in Gisburn Forest, a beauty spot in east Lancashire.

Andrew Burfield protects his face as he gets on a prison van as he leaves Blackburn Magistrates' Court where he was charged with the murder of Katie Kenyon. (PA)
Andrew Burfield protects his face as he gets on a prison van as he leaves Blackburn Magistrates' Court where he was charged with the murder of Katie Kenyon. (PA)

She was last seen on Friday getting into a Ford Transit van in Burnley, Lancashire.

The search for Ms Kenyon has involved more than 60 officers, search dogs and a plane, and focused on the dense Gisburn Forest in the Ribble Valley – measuring more than 1,200 hectares (2,965 acres, or more than 4.6 square miles) – and popular with walkers and cyclists.

Officers from the Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and North Wales police forces are combing the area, assisted by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and the Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue Team.

On Wednesday police dashed hopes of finding her alive, after announcing they were treating the investigation as a murder inquiry.

The search for Ms Kenyon has involved more than 60 officers, search dogs and a plane. (SWNS)
The search for Ms Kenyon has involved more than 60 officers, search dogs and a plane. (SWNS)
A sign at Gisburn Forest Hub during the search for Katie Kenyon. (SWNS)
A sign at Gisburn Forest Hub during the search for Katie Kenyon. (SWNS)

While Ms Kenyon's death has not been officially confirmed, Sarah Kenyon, said she had received the “heartbreaking” news that her sister had passed away.

She wrote on Facebook: “Receiving the most heartbreaking news this afternoon that our Katie is no longer with us has been the worst thing we had to ever hear.

“We have lost a mum, a daughter, a sister, an auntie, a niece, a granddaughter, a friend!

“Sleep easy our beautiful lady!!”

Officers from the Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and North Wales police forces are combing the area. (SWNS)
Officers from the Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and North Wales police forces are combing the area. (SWNS)

Detective Superintendent Gary Brooks, Lancashire Police’s head of major crime, said: “While I hold some slim hope that Katie may still be found alive I’m sad to say that Katie has now been missing for over four days.

“Despite extensive police enquiries and media appeals we have not found Katie nor have there been any sightings of Katie.

“We have spoken to Katie’s family today and they are understandably extremely upset by this latest development and I have officers continuing to offer them support. My thoughts are with them at this time.

“I am really grateful for all the help that members of the public have given us so far and I would continue to appeal to anyone who has any information, however small, to come forward and speak to us. While we do have someone under arrest our enquiries are very much ongoing."

He added: “I am aware that many members of the public have offered to help us in those searches and while I am grateful for that I would dissuade anyone from doing so.

Police announced on Wednesday that they were treating the investigation as a murder inquiry. (SWNS)
Police announced on Wednesday that they were treating the investigation as a murder inquiry. (SWNS)

"The area we are searching is very large and remote with no phone signal.

“The police teams are trained professionals who are used to doing this sort of work and I would hate for someone to get lost or come to harm while trying to help. Please leave it to us.”

Police said her family, who said Ms Kenyon’s disappearance is out of character, have thanked wellwishers for their support but have asked that people respect their privacy at this time.

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