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Closure Family of girl believed to be victim of killer Fred West hope to 'put her at rest'

'We hope this is a chance to finally get closure for Mary'

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Mary Bastholm was last seen alive waiting at a bus stop in Gloucester and worked at the cafe in Southgate Street where Fred West was a customer (PA)

Mary Bastholm was last seen alive waiting at a bus stop in Gloucester and worked at the cafe in Southgate Street where Fred West was a customer (PA)

Mary Bastholm was last seen alive waiting at a bus stop in Gloucester and worked at the cafe in Southgate Street where Fred West was a customer (PA)

The family of a teenage girl who is believed to have fallen victim to serial killer Fred West have said they are extremely happy to be given the chance to “put her at rest after all these years”. 

Excavation work is getting underway at a cafe in Gloucester after police found “possible evidence” that it may be where 15-year-old Mary Bastholm, who was last seen alive in January 1968, is buried.

Forensic archaeologists have confirmed there are a number of "structural anomalies" in the cellar of the Clean Plate café and excavations will now begin to establish “if any human remains are present”.

In a statement, the teenager's family said they were happy the police were "continuing the search for Mary" as it "gives us a chance to potentially put her at rest after all these years".

“Senior investigating officer John Turner has sat with us and explained the ongoing investigation as well as his intentions to excavate the cafe to try and find Mary,” the statement reads.

“We want to thank everyone who has wished us support through this distressing time, and we are continuing to be in close touch with the investigation team, and are being kept up to date with any new developments.”

It adds: "We hope this is a chance to finally get closure for Mary."

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Fred West took his own life in prison while awaiting trial for murder (Gloucestershire Police/PA)

Fred West took his own life in prison while awaiting trial for murder (Gloucestershire Police/PA)

Fred West took his own life in prison while awaiting trial for murder (Gloucestershire Police/PA)

Mary's disappearance in 1968 was at a time when West, who often did jobs in the street where she worked as a waitress in a cafe, was abducting girls in Gloucester.

He is said to have confessed to killing Mary in conversation with his son, Stephen, but never admitted it to police.

Mary's body was not found during the 1994 excavation of the Wests' home, now known as the "House of Horrors", in Gloucester. The house at 25 Cromwell Street was later demolished.

Gloucestershire Police had received possible evidence from a TV production company to suggest the body of the missing teenager could be buried at the location.

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One of the findings presented to police was a photo taken by the production company of what appeared to be blue material buried in one area of the cellar. Mary was wearing a blue coat when she went missing.

Detective Chief Inspector John Turner said: "The analysis from our experts and the material provided by the production company means there is enough evidence to justify excavation work beginning.

"I've spoken to the family and was so impressed by their quiet dignity and gratitude for all the work we've done and will be doing.”

He added: “They understand it is possible we won’t find human remains but they also know that we will do everything we can to establish if Mary is buried at this location.

“This will be slow and painstaking work but we have the best people on it and I can reassure our communities that all involved, from my team of investigators, our scenes of crime officers, search officers and family liaison officers to the forensic archaeologists who will continue their work are absolutely committed to the job ahead.”

West was charged with 12 murders, but took his own life in a Birmingham prison before his trial.

Rose West was convicted of 10 murders in November 1995 and is serving life.

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