Fred West police say no human remains found after digging up Gloucester café

Police searching a café in Gloucester for the remains of missing Mary Bastholm have revealed they have found nothing.

It was long suspected Fred West killed the teenager and could have buried her in the basement of the then Pop In cafe in 1968.

But after a thorough examination of the site over the past week detectives have revealed they had found no human remains.

A statement from Gloucestershire police read: “Excavation work at the Clean Plate café has now been completed and we can confirm no human remains or items of significance to the investigation have been found.

“Digging to access and examine six areas of interest or ‘anomalies’ in the cellar area began last Wednesday.

“The anomalies were identified by a team of expert forensic archaeologists and anthropologists ahead of the excavation work, with the experts able to determine that the remaining areas of the cellar had been undisturbed since prior to 1968, when Mary Bastholm disappeared.

“Each area was carefully examined by the forensics team with support from officers from the Constabulary.

“The team worked each day, everything that was dug up was analysed on site and all activity was meticulously logged and photographed.

“Mary’s family have been updated and is continuing to receive support from family liaison officers.

“The café will be handed back to its owners once reparation work is completed.”

Serial killer Fred, 53, committed suicide in prison in 1995 while awaiting trial for 12 murders.

His wife Rose, now 67, was convicted of 10 murders in the same year and sentenced to life.

Mary worked at the Pop In café, where Fred was a regular, and her disappearance came at a time when he was abducting, raping and murdering girls and women in Gloucester.

West is said to have confessed to killing the girl, 15, in conversation with his eldest son, Stephen, 48, but never admitted it to police.

The search was launched after police were contacted on May 7 by an ITV film crew, led by Sir Trevor McDonald, who had “possible evidence” of where Mary may be buried.

Excavation work then began, with grisly pictures of the cellar released.

Mary’s family, in a statement released by police, had said they hoped the excavation was a chance for “closure”.

Her dad said in 1970 that he did not think his daughter went away on her own.

“Personally, I think she took a lift from someone she knew, this could have been someone perhaps who came into the cafe,” he said.

Mary was last seen at a bus stop on January 6, 1968 while she was on her way to see her boyfriend in Hardwicke following a shift at the café.

She was carrying a game of Monopoly, and pieces found on the ground at the bus stop made the police fear she had been abducted during a struggle.

Her body was not found during the 1994 excavation of the Wests’ home, now known as the ‘House of Horrors’, on Cromwell Street in Gloucester.

The property was knocked down in 1996.