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Reservoir to be lowered in search for missing woman

Reservoir to be lowered in search for missing woman

Wednesday 29 July 2020

Reservoir to be lowered in search for missing woman

Wednesday 29 July 2020


Jersey Water is lowering the level of one of the reservoirs in Queen's Valley as the search for 65-year-old Elizabeth McDougall continues.

Mrs McDougall has been missing since 17:00 on Sunday (26 July) when she was dropped off at Cedar Ward at Clinique Pinel, a St. Saviour mental health facility where she is a resident.

A spokesperson for the Health Department said Mrs McDougall was reported missing when she did not return to the ward, according to the department's patient safety procedures.

She was last seen around the Queen’s Valley end of Route de la Hougue Bie.

Pictured: The area Mrs McDougall was last seen in at around 17:00 on Sunday.

She is described as “slim, approx. 5’4 tall, with grey hair, styled in a bob” and it is believed she was wearing grey clothing with a green Parker style jacket at the time of her disappearance.

An air search using an infrared camera was launched in the early hours of Monday morning, but was unable to locate her.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Beechey described the search as a collective effort between agencies, using all the expertise available in the island. So far, the Honorary Police, Jersey Search and Rescue, Channel Island Air Search and Jersey Water have all been involved, with Jersey Fire and Rescue Service also assisting with thermal imaging. 

Coastguard officials were also called in today so that their underwater equipment can be used in the search.

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Pictured: Anyone who may have CCTV or dash-cam footage of the area is asked to contact the police.

The searches have been managed by a trained Police Search Advisor, who has helped determine the appropriate area to look through. 

Searches have so far focused in the area around St. Saviour’s Hospital and Queen’s Valley as well as searches around Mrs McDougall's home address.

"We have to focus activities in the most appropriate area around the area she was last seen," Mr Beechey explained. "It's a very structured process and we will continue with the search in that area until we feel it's no longer appropriate."

While sightings have been reported to the police, Mr Beechey said they haven't been conclusive so far.

"As and when sightings are provided, we check them as best as we possibly can, looking for CCTV opportunities for example," the Detective Chief Inspector said.

"None of the information up to this point has changed the search we are conducting at the moment."

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Pictured: Police have asked to use the Coastguard's underwater equipment.

On Tuesday, the force appealed to islanders for dash-cam footage from anyone driving in the area at the time.

Officers also asked anyone with private CCTV in or around the area to get in touch.

Today, the force revealed that Jersey Water were lowering the level of one reservoir in Queen’s Valley to help the search. 

Specially trained Family Liaison Officers have also been deployed to support Mrs McDougall's family.

Mr Beechey once again asked islanders who may have private CCTV or dash-cam footage of the area near at the time Mrs McDougall went missing to get in touch.

"The more time that passes, the more concerned we are for finding Liz alive," he said.

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Pictured: More than 1,000 islanders have offered their help in searching for Ms McDougall.

The news comes as over 1,000 islanders have joined a Facebook group aiming to find the 65-year-old.

“We are aware of members of the public wanting to conduct their own searches, and whilst we understand the desire to do this, it can pose a risk to those involved and challenge the organisation and management of the search," Mr Beechey added.

"We would however, encourage people to look in their gardens, sheds or any outbuildings that they may have on their properties.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the police on 612612 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their anonymous online form.

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