Police to step up search for pensioner, 84

Missing Wetherby woman Jean Jellings.
Missing Wetherby woman Jean Jellings.

A major search operation is due to take place in Wetherby on Friday as part of continued efforts to trace missing pensioner Jean Jellings.

Exactly one month on from her disappearance, officers from the Outer North East Neighbourhood Policing Team will be joined by mounted officers and specialists from the Yorkshire and the Humber Underwater Search and Marine Unit to carry out further searches in the town, including along the banks of the River Wharfe and in the waterway itself.

Mrs Jellings, aged 84, was last seen at her supported housing in St James Street at about 5.30am on Friday, February 20. She is described as white, 5ft 4ins tall, with grey hair.

Extensive searches involving specialist search teams and the police helicopter were carried out in the area in the days after she went missing.

Since then local NPT officers have continued to search key areas and distribute posters and leaflets appealing for information.

Detective Superintendent Pat Twiggs, who has been leading the operation, said: “Mrs Jellings’ family are understandably upset and very concerned to find out what has happened to her and we are doing all we can to support them and get them the answers they need.

“We are also very much aware that Wetherby is a close-knit community and people there have been maintaining a keen interest in the investigation and want to do all they can to assist in finding her.

“It was completely out of character for her to have gone missing like this but we are satisfied from our enquiries that there are no suspicious circumstances.

“Although she lived in supported accommodation she was independent and mobile and would often go into the town centre and for walks near the bandstand and the river.

“Clearly a month has now passed since she went missing and the family are prepared for the worst but we remain determined to do all we can to find out what has happened to her.

“We are still keen to hear from anyone who has seen her at any point after she went missing on Friday, February 20.

“We had a possible sighting of her on CCTV from the New Inn public house which showed a woman dressed in dark clothing at around 6.40am.

“We would still like to hear from anyone who can corroborate that sighting or who has any information that could assist the investigation.”

Mrs Jellings had recently moved to Wetherby Manor from Bardsey where she had lived for 50 years.

At the time of her disappearance the managing director of the Hadrian Healthcare Group owned facility said it was not unusual for Mrs Jellings to leave the home for a walk.

Witness reports to police had also suggested that Mrs Jellings had been seen walking along Westgate before turning into Castle Gate.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Detective Constable Danny Wilkinson at Elland Road via 101 quoting log 398 of February 20.