High river levels delay search for missing Jean

Chief Insp Paul Dwyer.
Chief Insp Paul Dwyer.

Police have postponed an underwater search for missing Wetherby pensioner Jean Jellings

A month after the 84-year-old went missing during an early morning walk from her supported living home, specialist police divers were to have staged another sweep of the River Wharfe.

Missing Jean Jellings.

Missing Jean Jellings.

But Ch Insp Paul Dwyer explained to the News: “The river levels have been quite high since February 20 (the day Mrs Jellings went missing).

“At this moment in time the underwater and water search teams are not coming back until the water levels drop.

“They do not think there will be any benefit to what they have already done.”

But he added that officers marked the anniversary by going into the town centre.

“We have put additional officers out in town during the day to find further information a month to the day that Jean was last seen.

“We are hoping that it might jog someone’s memory.”

Mrs Jellings, who was described as always smartly dress and 5’4” tall, was last seen going for her usual early morning walk from her Wetherby Manor home at 5.30am and was possibly captured on CCTV at 5.40am near the New Inn.

She failed to return to the home and was reported missing. Other possible sightings reported to the police was that she was seen walking along Castle Gate.

Ch Insp Dwyer added that previous searches had focussed on the river and banks because Mrs Jellings liked to walk along the riverside and sit near the bandstand.

Specialist teams had searched from the sports club in Wetherby and all the way down to just outside Tadcaster.

“If there is anyone out there who may have seen anything, as it is exactly a month ago today, we are interested to hear from them or anybody who can add information to help us with our enquiries.

“We do stress that Jean’s disappearance is not being treated as suspicious. It is unexplained but not a criminal investigation.

“The family need answers really and that is what the police are trying to provide by giving and explanation as to what has happened to her.”

Any information should be given to the police by phoning 101.