Tragic end to five-year mystery

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Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by

A MYSTERIOUS disappearance dating back almost five years has come to a tragic conclusion with the discovery of a body in riverside mud.

The remains were found more than three weeks ago in the muddy banks of the River Ouse at Acaster Malbis near York.

However they were in such poor condition that, following extensive tests, police have only just been able to establish their identity as those of local woman Lisette Dugmore.

Miss Dugmore was 36 when she was reported missing in July 2008. She was last seen alive on the evening of July 6 in the Bootham area of York.

A former kennel assistant with the RSPCA, she had suffered an injury to her head the previous day after a fall.

Since then widespread and high-profile inquiries have been continuing in the effort to locate her and establish the circumstances of her disappearance.

However her body was recovered from the Ouse at Acaster Malbis on January 13 after being discovered by walkers.

Her devastated sister Dion Smith, said: “The last four-and-a-half years have been unbearable. Not knowing what had happened to Lisette has had a profound effect on us all.

“Even now, it is very difficult to believe that we won’t be able to see or speak to Lisette again. We never gave up hope that she would be found safe and well.

“We are utterly heartbroken.”

She went on to thank all the individuals and organisations that gave dedicated support during the search for her sister and the kindness and concern from friends and neighbours in York and beyond.

Detective Inspector Adrian Gathercole led the missing person investigation from the very beginning.

“This is very sad news which, understandably, has left Lisette’s family deeply upset,” he said.

“The thoughts of all those involved in the search for Lisette are with her family and friends at this difficult time.”

He added: “This is not the outcome anybody wanted, but we hope that Lisette’s loved ones will take some comfort from being able to lay her to rest and remember happier times.”

Examination of the remains have confirmed there were no suspicious circumstances.

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