Gaynor Lord’s family are today awaiting formal identification of body pulled from river – as husband of shop assistant is left ‘totally lost’ over tragedy
The heartbroken family of Gaynor Lord are today awaiting formal identification of a body which was found in a river during the search for the missing mother-of-three.
Mrs Lord’s husband, Clive, has told friends that he is ‘totally lost’ and can’t work out what happened after his wife vanished in Norwich on December 8, sparking a huge search operation with specialist divers, underwater drones and sonar equipment.
As the search entered its second week on Friday, divers pulled a female body out of the River Wensum, which runs through Wensum Park where Mrs Lord’s belongings were found the day she went missing.
Norfolk Police revealed yesterday that they were not treating the woman’s death as suspicious and found no indications of third-party involvement following a post-mortem.
The police force also confirmed that formal identification would take place today. Mrs Lord’s family have been made aware of the latest developments and continue to be supported by specialised officers.
Gaynor Lord (pictured) was last seen on December 8 as she left work early from Norwich city centre
Police search teams found a body in the River Wensum in Wensum Park, Norwich, on Friday
Mrs Lord’s family are awaiting formal identification today. PIctured: Mrs Lord’s daughter Charlotte who shared the tragic update that a body had been found
This timeline shows what we know so far about how Gaynor Lord’s disappearance unfolded
A family friend, who was speaking before a body was discovered, told The Times that Mrs Lord’s loved ones were ‘distraught’ by the disappearance.
‘Clive [Mrs Lord’s husband] is understandably totally lost, and doesn’t understand at all what’s happened,’ they said.
READ MORE: New Gaynor Lord footage shows missing 55-year-old’s last known moments – as mother-of-three’s distraught daughter shares news that a female body has been found in river
And Julie Muddel, who is married to Mrs Lord’s first husband Paul, said: ‘My stepson told me Gaynor was the best she had been for a long time. She loved her job, she absolutely loved it. She was making new friends, and she was the happiest she’d been for a long time.’
Mrs Lord’s daughter, Charlotte Lord, 24, had also been sharing police appeals on social media, including when a body was found.
After the clothing brand owner shared the devastating news, friends were quick to offer their support, with one writing: ‘I am so sorry to read this Charlotte. Have been thinking of you and your family non-stop the last few days.’
A second said: ‘No words. Just so sorry and sending much love to you and your family.’
A childhood friend added: ‘So sorry to hear this Charlotte. We all have really fond memories of spending time with your family growing up. Thinking of you all.’
Local MP Clive Lewis also commented on the discovery, saying: ‘This is awful news whether it’s Gaynor they’ve found or not. Someone has lost their life and their loved ones will be in pieces. My heart goes out to them, and I wish them comfort and strength.’
FRIDAY 2.44pm – CCTV issued by Norfolk Police of missing Gaynor Lord leaving work at the Bullards Gin counter in the basement at Jarrolds department store in Norwich on December 8
FRIDAY 2.47pm – Gaynor Lord is seen in Norwich walking along London Street past Cosy Club
FRIDAY 2.48pm – Gaynor Lord makes her way onto Queens Street before crossing into Tombland and walking towards Norwich Cathedral
FRIDAY 3.22pm – Gaynor Lord is seen leaving the Cathedral grounds about 30 minutes later. At 3.49pm she is spotted on CCTV near the Playhouse on St George’s Street before walking along St Crispins Road towards Pitt Street
FRIDAY 4.01pm – A CCTV video shows Gaynor Lord walking along St Augustine’s Street in Norwich last Friday
FRIDAY 4.03pm – Mrs Lord was caught on CCTV walking up Bakers Road on December 8 in new footage obtained by MailOnline
Chief Superintendent Dave Buckley, Norfolk’s County Policing Commander, said yesterday: ‘The post-mortem examination has found no signs that any other parties were involved.
Timeline of Gaynor Lord’s movements before going missing
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2023
2.44pm – Gaynor is working at the Bullards Gin counter in the basement at Jarrold department store – her clothing is clearly visible
2.45-2.46pm – She leaves the store via loading bay on Bedford Street
2.47pm – Walks onto London Street past Cosy Club
2.48pm – Gaynor makes her way onto Queens Street and walks toward the Cathedral
3.22pm – Gaynor is seen on The Close at the cathedral entrance – shortly before exiting through the archway she puts her coat on
3.23pm – She is seen to walk away from the cathedral on Queens Street – here you can see a clear image of the coat she was wearing
3.49pm – This is the last sighting of Gaynor on CCTV near the Playhouse on St George’s Street
3.53pm – Walks along St Crispins Road towards Pitt Street
4.01pm – Gaynor walks up St Augustines Street – her final movements captured in CCTV before going missing
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2023
12pm – Police divers pull a body from the river
‘Although our searches have concluded, officers are continuing to work to establish the full circumstances surrounding Gaynor’s disappearance. We will pursue all lines of enquiry to understand why she went missing.
‘Our thoughts remain with Gaynor’s family at this incredibly difficult time.’
Mrs Lord went missing after leaving her workplace at Jarrolds department store in Norwich more than an hour before her shift was due to end on December 8.
Until yesterday, it was understood that Mrs Lord, 55, headed directly from Norwich city centre to Wensum Park, where her clothing and belongings, including her glasses, jewellery and mobile phone, were found last Friday evening about 1.5 miles from her work.
Previously, the most recent CCTV image released by the police, described as the last view of the mother-of-three on December 8, showed her walking up St Augustine’s Street, which leads onto Aylsham Road, and then onto Drayton Road to reach Wensum Park at 4.01pm.
But the new video obtained by MailOnline shows that a short time later she made an unexpected diversion off St Augustine’s Street for some reason, passing along a short pedestrianised stretch into Bakers Road, after being caught by a camera at the corner.
In the video, timed at 4:03pm, which only shows her from the back in her olive coat with the belt hanging loose, she appears to be walking purposely.
As she walks to the furthest limit of the camera’s range, she appears to stop for a few seconds, just as the timer ticks over to 4:04pm.
The source of the CCTV, the owner of a business on the road, confirmed to MailOnline that Mrs Lord did not return the same way.
Specialist police divers were seen searching an area of the River Wensum on Friday morning before finding a body, which they then pulled out of the water in a black bag.
Police have revealed that they have ‘some indications’ as to why Mrs Lord left work early on the day she vanished, but also admitted they have not been able to establish her state of mind when she went missing with ‘any degree of confidence’.
It came after Mrs Gaynor’s friend Julie Butcher shared her ‘regret’ after being forced to hang up on the mother-of-three on the day she went missing in order to answer a work call.
Police divers found a body in the river on Friday, marking the location with an orange buoy before retrieving it from the water
She promised to phone her back, but when she did five minutes later, there was no answer.
Ms Butcher told Sky News: ‘I wish I hadn’t have answered that call. [I] Really wish I hadn’t have answered that call. And then she may have talked to me a bit more or I might have found out the reason why she was calling me.
‘I just wish I’d have kept her on the phone and not taken that phone call because you never know, she might have said something.’
Speaking about the last time she saw Mrs Lord, she said: ‘She was happy on Tuesday and we had a few gins with her and the last time I saw her she gave me a hug.’
She said she was ‘upbeat’ and talking about Christmas just days before she disappeared.
Wensum Park was closed throughout the investigation but has now reopened.
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