Rose West may be interviewed after 'potential evidence' found in search for remains of South Shields teenager Mary Bastholm
A senior officer police officer has not ruled out interviewing Rosemary West after ‘potential evidence’ was found in a basement in the search for the remains of a missing South Shields teenager.
One of the findings presented to police was a photo taken by the company of what appeared to be blue material buried in one area of the cellar. Mary was wearing a blue coat when she went missing in 1968.
Forensic archaeologists have confirmed there are structural anomalies within the cellar that warrant further exploration. Excavation work will now begin.
Mary was born in South Shields but moved to Gloucester with her family.
“What we are going to do is concentrate on the excavation within the basement,” said Detective Chief Inspector Turner
“As and when we know more, I will then consider whether people need to be interviewed and spoken to and Rose West may be one of those people.”
The Wests’ eldest son, Stephen, has maintained his father told him shortly before his death that he murdered 15-year-old Mary.
“A member of my team has spoken to Steve West and we will consider all options and line of inquiry once we know exactly what we are dealing with within the basement,” he said.
In September 1967, Fred West and his first wife Catherine “Rena” West moved to a caravan site at Bishops Cleeve, near Cheltenham.
Rosemary West, then a teenager, was living with her parents, Bill and Daisy Letts, in Bishops Cleeve.
Shortly after her 16th birthday in November 1969, Rosemary West moved in with Fred at the caravan site.
Detective Chief Inspector John Turner said his “understanding” was that Mary’s disappearance in January 1968 happened before Fred had met Rosemary.
“That is my understanding, although there is some suggestion they may have known each other in and around that time,” he said.
“The information isn’t clear and that is something that would have to be looked at if we were to find anything of significance in the basement.”
Detective Chief Inspector John Turner, senior investigating officer, said serial killer Fred West would have been interviewed about the disappearance of 15-year-old Mary Bastholm if he were still alive.
“Fred West was always indicated as being involved in Mary’s disappearance and possibly her death,” Mr Turner said.
“We will be searching the basement to find out what, if anything, is there. If anything is found we will carry out a forensic review and we will look to seek people within the investigation that we need to interview.
“If Fred were alive, undoubtedly he would be interviewed around the disappearance of Mary.”
Forensic archaeologists have been undertaking exploratory work at the Clean Plate cafe in Southgate Street in connection with the disappearance of 15-year-old Mary Bastholm, from South Shields, who was last seen alive in January 1968.
Gloucestershire Police had received possible evidence from a TV production company to suggest the body of the missing teenager could be buried at the location.