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Thursday, November 23, 2023

Police failed us when our daughter disappeared – we're certain she's still alive

NewsPolice failed us when our daughter disappeared - we're certain she's still alive

Devastated parents are suffering a “groundhog day of grief” as they desperately search for their daughter who went missing two years ago.

Wendy and Gerry Maguire are appealing once more for any information that could help them solve the mystery of their daughter Catrin’s disappearance.

Catrin, who went missing when she was 22, was in her third year of a health and social care course at Bangor University and preparing for a master’s in the same subject at Birmingham’s Newman University.

The Saturday before Catrin went missing she joined friends in Bangor for a movie night and they would become the last people known to have talked to her.

She was due to meet one of those friends on the Monday to sign a tenancy agreement for the flat they had been staying in, but Catrin never arrived, instead buying a return ticket that morning to Holyhead.

It’s that return ticket that further adds to the mystery for her father Mr Maguire, 52, who told Wales Online: “It’s like doing a jigsaw without looking at the box.

“We believe there’s a lot more to it. Somebody, somewhere knows something. You just don’t go missing out of the blue.

“I think she made arrangements to be picked up there, we believe she may have bought a return ticket so she could get home if the person didn’t turn up.”

In the early afternoon of November 15 CCTV caught Catrin walking just 150 yards from her parents’ house. She was last seen at 1.18pm walking near the café of the RSPB nature reserve. A shepherd sitting in a parked van said they saw her walk past the café and up the hill towards the car park.

Mrs Maguire said she thought her daughter could have been pregnant.

She said: “My hypothesis is that Catrin was pregnant. She had lost weight and when we emptied her flat the amount of sanitary wear that came back suggested she hadn’t had any [periods].”

North Wales Police have been leading the investigation into what happened to Catrin, and the Maguire’s say they have concerns about the search.

The family said they had spoken to 14 different officers and often had to repeat painful information. Mrs Maguire said it was a “slap in the face”, when they were told to call 101 for updates, sometimes meaning an hour on hold.

One of the moments that most damaged their trust in the force came when the parents requested a national media appeal and the senior officer leading the investigation told them over the phone that the “working hypothesis” was Catrin had taken her own life at a place called South Stack Cliffs.

North Wales Police deputy chief constable Nigel Harrison said: “Our thoughts are with Catrin’s family on the second anniversary of her disappearance.

“Following concerns raised by Catrin’s family an internal investigation concluded that the level of service they received in some aspects of our engagement with them fell below the standard we would expect and which they deserved.

“I would like to apologise to them for the distress this caused. Sadly at this moment in time there is no further information available which would enable us to progress the case further but should any come to light it will be reviewed.”

Catrin is around 5ft 5in tall, with a slim build. She had on a black duffel coat and a light-coloured handbag on the day she disappeared.

If you have information that could help, call North Wales Police on 101 quoting reference Z167766.

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