The disappearance of Mary Bastholm explained

15-year-old Mary Bastholm was reported missing in Gloucester on January 6 1968 – but her body was never found.

The teenager disappeared without a trace, and is widely believed to be the victim of Fred West, who died in prison in 1995 aged 53.

Now Gloucestershire Police have said they have found evidence that a body could be buried within The Clean Plate café in Southgate Street, Gloucester – and are linking it to the disappearance of Mary.

They were called to the café by a production company who were filming a documentary.

Assistant Chief Constable Craig Holden of Gloucestershire Police said: "This could be a significant development on a case which has gained a lot of public interest over the years.

"On the basis of the information provided to us, we consider this to be new and potentially important evidence in the case of Mary Bastholm, however further detailed assessments will take place over the following few days to determine the extent of excavation needed."

Who was Mary Bastholm?

Mary Bastholm was a waitress who worked at The Clean Plate café, a place West was known to have frequented.

She was last seen waiting at a bus stop on Bristol Road, Gloucester.

Mary was going to see her boyfriend in Hardwicke, a village just outside Gloucester, on the evening of January 6 1968, after finishing her shift at the café in Southgate Street.

Her boyfriend had arranged to meet her at the bus stop on the other end – but she wasn't on the bus.

One theory is that the serial killer offered her a lift and then murdered her.

  • Fred and Rose West's lodger 'was nearly next victim'

West allegedly admitted to his son Stephen and a social worker that acted as his "appropriate adult" Janet Leach that he had murdered Mary while he was on remand in prison, prior to his suicide.

However, in official interviews he denied ever being involved and police were unable to charged West due to lack of evidence.

West had been due to face 12 charges of murder relating to the bodies of young women found buried at his home at 25 Cromwell Street and two fields in Much Marcle.

His wife Rose West was later convicted of 10 counts of murder, and is currently serving a full life term at New Hall Prison in Wakefield.

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