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Gloucestershire Business News

Excavation at Gloucester cafe in search for Fred West victim

Excavation work is due to begin at the Clean Plate café in Gloucester this week as police investigate a possible link with one of serial killer Fred West's teenage victims.

Police were called to the café in Southgate Street by a production company filming a documentary on 7th May.

The crew reported possible evidence to suggest a body could be buried at the property, which has been linked to the disappearance of 15-year-old Mary Bastholm, who went missing in 1968.

Fred West was eventually charged with twelve murders, although with his wife Rose, the pair tortured, raped and murdered an unknown number of women over a period spanning twenty years.

He committed suicide in Birmingham's Winson Green prison before his trial. His wife was eventually convicted of ten murders in November 1995 and is serving a life sentence.

Forensic archaeologists have today (17th May) confirmed that there are a number of structural anomalies within the café's cellar that warrant further exploration.

Gloucestershire Police have now approved excavation work to begin to establish if any human remains are present.

A photo taken by the production company appeared to show blue material buried in one area of the cellar. Mary Bastholm was known to be wearing a blue coat when she disappeared.

The excavation work will last several weeks but will not begin until at least Wednesday (19th May) while final assessments are made.

Mary's family have been updated of developments and are supportive of the operation. They continue to receive support from family liaison officers.

Detective Chief Inspector John Turner said: "The analysis from our experts and the material provided by the production company means there is enough evidence to justify excavation work beginning.

"I've spoken to the family and was so impressed by their quiet dignity and gratitude for all the work we've done and will be doing.

"They understand it is possible we won't find human remains but they also know that we will do everything we can to establish if Mary is buried at this location.

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