Family of missing student Karen Buckley appeal for help
THE family of missing student Karen Buckley have appealed for help as a major police hunt continues after her disappearance during a night out with friends in Scotland.
Karen Buckley (24) has not been since the early hours of Sunday morning, when she was at a nightclub in Dumbarton Road in the Scottish city, where she is a student.
Her worried parents John and Marion travelled from the family farm Mourneabbey near Mallow in Co Cork to Glasgow yesterday, and are leading the search efforts for their only daughter.
Karen is studying occupational therapy at Glasgow Caledonian University having previously studied nursing in Ireland. She moved to Glasgow in January after working for a year in Essex.
The youngest of the family, Karen has three older brothers - Kieran, Damian and Brendan.
Kieran (28), who lives in Sydney, said: "It is so hard. I am in Australia and feel helpless.
"We're trying to do what we can from here... We just hope she is found safe and well.
"She doesn't just go away or go off on her own. She would let people know she was coming home, which is why her friends and us are so worried."
In a statement, Scottish Police said the student had been drinking in an apartment with friends before leaving to go to the nightclub. The group arrived at Sanctuary nightclub around 11.45pm.
At around 1am she told friends she was going to the toilet but did not return and did not take her jacket.
She was then picked up by CCTV in the area speaking to a man outside the club and investigating police are now trying to track down this man.
Inspector Gavin Smith said: "We're particularly keen to get in touch with the gentleman who Karen was seen talking to around 1am on Sunday morning outside the Sanctuary nightclub as he may be able to help us."
When last seen, Karen was wearing a sleeveless, plain black jumpsuit which was low at the back and front and red stiletto heels.
She is described as being 5ft 2in tall, weighing eight and a half stone with black hair, styled curly and long on the night she went missing.
Karen's father, John, last night said he was unable to comment on the ongoing efforts to find his daughter.
A neighbour described Karen as a "lovely, quiet girl".
"She comes from a very well- respected farming family who would be very well-known in the area," she said.
The missing girl's friends have also issued appeals and have set up a Facebook account to help trace her.
A spokesperson for the Glasgow City police described the man they wish to talk as “white, with short dark hair, and of stocky build."
Adding: "He was a wearing a white shirt and dark trousers. We are very interested in speaking to him.”
Friends of the Glasgow Caledonian University student raised the alarm yesterday, saying it was "very out of character" for her not to return home.
Searches yesterday concentrated on the area in which Karen went missing, including a park, bushes and some areas of the River Kelvin. The search is set to be expanded today.
Inspector Gavin Smith said, "Friends reported Karen missing on Sunday 12 April after feeling her behaviour to not return home was very out of character. Her friends say she would always contact them by text or phone to let them know where she was and she doesn't appear to have contacted anyone.
"We are interested in speaking to anyone who may have seen Karen in the early hours of Sunday morning in the west end of Glasgow in order to help with our inquiries to locate her. We're particularly keen to get in touch with the gentleman who Karen was seen talking to around 1am on Sunday morning outside the Sanctuary nightclub as he may be able to help us.
"Karen had been drinking alcohol with her friends but they say she was not drunk and are very worried about her. Her parents have also flown over from Ireland as they believe this behaviour is very unusual and not like Karen at all.
"I would urge anyone who may have seen Karen at all on Saturday night into Sunday morning to get in touch with police on 101 with any information at all."
She lives with three other student friends in a flat in Hill Street, Garnethill, Glasgow, and earlier on Saturday evening had drinks with friends in the flat before going to the nightclub.