Police are planning more searches of a stretch of the River Soar in Leicester, following a renewed investigation into the disappearance of Malgorzata Wnuczek – a woman who was last seen more than 17 years ago.
On Tuesday morning (June 6) the cold case opened again to a fresh lead, as police arrested a 39-year-old man in the Greater Manchester area, on suspicion of helping an offender and perverting the course of justice.
Officers from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit collaborated with detectives in Poland, and specialist teams were reassembled to search the River Soar near Leicester’s Mill Lane Bridge.
The search will continue over the coming days say Leicestershire Police.
It comes following new information from Police colleagues in Malgorzata’s native country of Poland which led to them believing evidence relating to her disappearance could be in the River Soar, which may include a body or remains of a body.
Ms Wnuczek disappeared on 31 May 2006, at the age of 27. She was last seen after catching a bus from her place of work at Peter Jackson Logistics in Sunningdale Road, Leicester, into Leicester city centre.
The last contact she had with her family, who affectionally referred to her as Gosia, was via text message on 29 May 2006.
Despite a reappeal from both her loved ones and police in 2016 – 10 years on from when she was last seen – her whereabouts remain unknown.
Detectives believe there may be people within Leicester’s Polish community who know what happened to her.
Detective Inspector Jenni Heggs, from EMSOU, is the senior investigating officer. She said: “Malgorzata was 27 when she was last seen. Two days ago it was her 44th birthday.
“Officers both in the UK and in Poland have remained in contact with her family since she was last seen. Following information provided to us by our Polish colleagues, we are carrying out a search of the River Soar in the hope we might find something that can help us to establish Malgorzata’s whereabouts.
“Since the investigation began, more than 2,000 potential witnesses have raised more than 2,500 lines of enquiry, with more than 100 statements taken. But we still do not know where Malgorzata is or what might’ve happened to her.
“However, I firmly believe there are people out there who do. For more than 17 years, her family have lived their lives in darkness and we owe it to them to answer the questions they have.
“I’m making a direct appeal to the people of Leicester – and in particular our Polish community – to come forward if they have any information that could help. You might think what you know is insignificant, but it might just be something that leads us to Malgorzata.
You can pass on information by visiting https://www.leics.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/ and quoting incident 362 of 2 June.
Alternatively call 101.