Karen Buckley: Man, 21, detained by police

A 21-YEAR-OLD man was ­detained last night in connection with the disappearance of missing Irish student Karen Buckley.

Karen Buckley hasn't been seen since the early hours of Sunday morning. Picture: Hemedia
Karen Buckley hasn't been seen since the early hours of Sunday morning. Picture: Hemedia

Police detained him just after 6:30pm and a Police Scotland spokesman said officers were following a “definite line of ­inquiry”.

The detective leading the hunt for Ms Buckley said it was his “absolute priority” to find her. Two teams of detectives and forensics specialists combed parkland and a property in the north-west of Glasgow yesterday which the 24-year-old visited in the early hours of Sunday.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

A helicopter crew, divers and sniffer dogs were all called in to assist with the search, with more patrols in the west end, Kelvindale and Anniesland areas.

Karen Buckley hasn't been seen since the early hours of Sunday morning. Picture: Hemedia

Police continued to scour Dawsholm Park, where Ms Buckley’s handbag was discovered on Tuesday afternoon. By late afternoon, the focus of the investigation was a flat in Dorchester Avenue.

Officers were seen removing items gathered from the garden and taking material from the property for further inspection.

Ms Buckley, from Cork, was last seen on CCTV talking to a man outside the Sanctuary nightclub on Dumbarton Road.

It is understood the man she was speaking to was Alexander Pacteau, 21. She is said to have gone back to his flat which she is said to have left at around 4am to make her way home to Hill Street in the Garnethill area of the city.

Police continue to search Dawsholm Park in Glasgow. Picture: Hemedia

Detective Superintendent Jim Kerr, leading the inquiry, said: “Our absolute priority is to find Karen Buckley. Anyone with any information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, should contact 101 or anonymously on Crimestoppers.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said police were working around the clock to find the missing student. She added: “Our thoughts, our prayers, are with Karen Buckley and, of course, with her family.”

Shortly before 4pm yesterday, forensic officers removed a box of items gathered from the garden of the flat where Ms Buckley was last seen.

Police were also seen going in and out of the property on Dorchester Avenue, taking about four or five bags away with them. The search also took in garages and sheds in a back lane and a wooded area around the perimeters of Dawsholm Park, a patchwork of scrubland and industrial units.

Ms Buckley, a qualified nurse, had moved to Glasgow in February and is a first-year occupational therapy student at Glasgow Caledonian University.

Her family have flown to Scotland to help in the search.

Mother, Marian, 61, said: ‘“We just want Karen home safely, we are desperate. She is our only daughter, we love her dearly.

“If anybody has any information, please come forward, we would dearly appreciate it.”

Ms Buckley arrived at the Sanctuary with friends at around 11:45pm on Saturday and at around 1am she told them she was going to the toilet. She failed to return and did not take her jacket with her.

When last seen, she was wearing a black jumpsuit with red high-heeled shoes and was carrying a black handbag.

Her father John, 62, said her disappearance was “so out of character”. He said: “We are ­extremely concerned for her. We are desperate to get her back and safe with her family – she is our only daughter, we love her dearly and just want her to come home safe and sound.’’

A special prayer service took place last night in Ms Buckley’s hometown in north Cork.

The private Mass of Hope was held at the Church of Saint Michael The Archangel, Mourneabbey, near the town of Mallow.

Dr William Crean, the Bishop of Cloyne, led the prayers for Ms Buckley.

“On my own behalf and on behalf of the faithful of the diocese of Cloyne, I wish to offer prayerful support to the family of Karen Buckley at this painful time as they await the safe return of Karen,” he said. The bishop urged the people of Mourne­abbey to pray for Ms Buckley’s safe return and to pray for her parents, and her brothers Brendan, Kieran and Damian.