Police divers, helicopter crew and search dogs called to search for missing Karen Buckley

Police divers, a helicopter crew and search dogs are all now involved in the search
Police divers, a helicopter crew and search dogs are all now involved in the search

The detective leading the hunt for an Irish student who disappeared after a night out in Glasgow has said it is his "absolute priority" to find her.

Detective Superintendent Jim Kerr earlier said police are "gravely concerned" for Karen Buckley, 24, who has not been seen for three days.

Police divers, a helicopter crew and search dogs are all now involved in the search for Miss Buckley in the north-west of the city around the park where her handbag was found.

Teams have been combing Dawsholm Park, which is bordered on one side by the River Kelvin, and a nearby flat in Dorchester Avenue where the student was reportedly last seen.

Two officers in forensic suits entered the flat and are searching an area to the rear which has been cordoned off. Members of the search team were pictured carrying spades.

Mr Kerr said: "Our absolute priority is to find Karen Buckley. We have a team of specialist search officers from the west and east working in the area as well as additional patrols in the west end and north of the city.

"Anyone with any information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, should contact 101 or anonymously on Crimestoppers."

Patrols have been stepped up in the west end, Kelvindale and Anniesland areas of the city following the student's disappearance.

Miss Buckley is said to have travelled to a flat in Dorchester Avenue with a man after leaving the Sanctuary nightclub in the city's Dumbarton Road in the early hours of Sunday. She was seen on CCTV talking to the man, named in reports as Alexander Pacteau, 21, outside the nightclub before leaving in his company.

Mr Pacteau has been traced and police say he is not a suspect but is continuing to assist them with their inquiries.

Miss Buckley is said to have left his flat at around 4am to make her way home to Hill Street in the Garnethill area.

His mother Noreen, 43, told the Daily Record newspaper: "As you can tell by the police reports, he is not a suspect.

"She left his property at four o'clock in the morning and she was seen by other witnesses, not Alexander. So he is not a suspect."

Scotland's First Minister said police are working around the clock to find the missing student.

Nicola Sturgeon told Sky News: "Our thoughts, our prayers, are with Karen Buckley and of course with her family."

The qualified nurse moved to Glasgow in February and is a first-year occupational therapy student at Glasgow Caledonian University. Her family, from Cork, have flown to Scotland to help in the search. 

Yesterday, her mother Marian Buckley, 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.''

Miss 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.

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

Mr Kerr said: "'We are gravely concerned that Karen has come to some harm. Whether that is down to foul play, criminality or she has taken unwell or had an accident is obviously still to be established.''

Her father John Buckley, 62, said yesterday the 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.''