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Searches taking place in Bristol linked to disappearance of Claire Holland

Claire Holland

A significant police operation is taking place over the next few days in connection with the disappearance of 32-year-old Bristol woman Claire Holland.

Claire, from Lawrence Weston, was reported missing by her family on Thursday 14 June, 2012 and was last seen at the Seamus O’Donnell’s pub in St Nicholas Street, Bristol, on the evening of Wednesday 6 June, 2012.

Today, the Major Crime Investigation Team (MCIT) is releasing CCTV footage showing Claire on the day she disappeared, as part of a renewed appeal for information from the public. In addition, several targeted searches in and around the Bristol area will be carried out over the next few days.

We believe Claire has been the victim of a crime and we are treating her disappearance as suspicious. A 37-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of her murder in 2019. This man, who is now 39 years old, remains released under investigation.

Senior Investigating Officer Det Insp Darren Hannant said: “We’d like the public to cast their mind back to The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend, which was on the weekend of 2-5 June in 2012. Claire went missing the day after this significant national event.

“CCTV shows Claire walking along Baldwin Street heading towards the Seamus O’Donnell’s pub at around 9.30pm on Wednesday 6 June, but we don’t have any footage showing where she went afterwards, but staff have confirmed she did leave the pub later that evening just after closing time, around 11.15pm. It is possible she headed in the direction of the Fountains, near the Harbourside, but we don’t have any footage of her doing so, despite extensive reviews of more than 1,000 hours of available CCTV.

“We’re carrying out a number of intelligence-led searches in the Bristol area today and over the coming days, with some involving the specialist dive team, starting in parts of the city centre and moving to other areas through the week.

“At this time, we’re treating Claire’s disappearance as suspicious. Claire had no known reason to go missing of her own accord and had made plans for the week following her disappearance.

“Claire’s family are being kept up to date on the progress of this investigation and we’re committed to providing them with the answers they need. Specially trained liaison officers will continue to support them at this very difficult time.”

We need the public’s help. Can you provide information on any of the following?

• Were you in the Seamus O’Donnell’s pub on the night Claire was last seen – Wednesday 6 June, 2012? If you were and haven’t yet spoken to us, please do so now. We want to identify everyone who spoke to Claire on the day she disappeared.

• Please watch the CCTV clips above – did you see a woman matching Claire’s description (also see description below) heading into Bristol city centre from the direction of St Nicholas Street after 11pm. You may have seen her elsewhere in Bristol on the same evening – if so, we want to speak to you.

Claire is described as white, 5ft tall, of slim build, with shoulder-length brown hair, which was sometimes tied back in a ponytail.

• Were you a friend or acquaintance of Claire? If you didn’t speak to police at the time she went missing, or since, now is the time. We need to know as much as we can about what Claire was doing or sharing with others in the days and weeks leading up to her going missing?

• Has someone told you information about this case which may have sounded unusual or suspicious? Has anyone confided in you about what may have happened to Claire? Now is the time to put aside any doubts you have had about making contact and help us find answers for the sake of Claire’s family and loved ones.

• If you were a friend of Claire on Facebook in 2012, we’ll be sending you a message via social media. We’d appreciate it if you could take some time to read the message and call us if you have any information which would assist. We’d also appreciate your help in sharing our appeal online.

If you can help, please call 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5219172645

You can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their Anonymous Online Form.

No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court or have to speak to police when contacting Crimestoppers.