Search widened in hunt for missing Lindsay Birbeck

Lancashire police have extended their search for missing Huncoat woman Lindsay Birbeck.

Lindsay Birbeck
Lindsay Birbeck

Searches have today (August 20) been taking place at Huncoat Quarry and the surrounding area, in addition to The Coppice.

Lindsay, aged 47, has been missing since Monday August 12.

CCTV footage showed Lindsay at around 4.10pm on Monday (August 12) in the Burnley Road area walking in the direction of Accrington.

A witness had described having a conversation with a lady matching Lindsay's description at the top of Peel Park Avenue .

Ongoing CCTV enquiries have discovered that the time of this encounter was actually around 6.30pm, later than first thought.

Police are still keen to trace a man walking a Labrador in the area at that time.

The man is described as white, aged in his late 40s, 5ft 6in tall, of medium build with short dark hair and wearing glasses.

He is believed to have been wearing a dark jacket or coat and was walking a small black Labrador.

Officers now also believe there may have been a couple in the same area, each walking a dog.

The couple are described as a white male aged in his late 20s, wearing casual clothes walking a mottled effect Bull Mastiff type dog and a white woman aged late 20s also wearing casual clothes and walking a stocky white Staffordshire bull terrier type dog.

A number of specialist resources including dogs, mounted police, mountain and underwater rescue search teams, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and drones continue to look for Lindsay.

Officers have also been handing out leaflets and speaking to members of the public in the area.

Detective Inspector Tim McDermott, said: 'We are now treating Lindsay's last sighting as at 6:30pm, not 4:30pm on Monday 12th.

"We want to speak to a dog walker and a couple who were also walking dogs in the area around the same time as Lindsay as they could hold vital information. If you think this is you, please ring us now.

'We have been overwhelmed by the support and dedication shown by members of the public, who have been out in the hundreds helping in the search for Lindsay.

'However, as our search widens we would ask people to please stay away from the Quarry area. The terrain here is extremely dangerous.

"Our officers and search teams are equipped and trained to explore such areas but we would urge members of the public to stick to public footpaths and main roads only.

"We understand you want to help, but your safety has to be our priority.

'Officers have had a number of items handed to them over recent days and we appreciate this but would please ask you not to collect things you find. If you come across something you think may be significant to the investigation, please don't touch it but report it to us or flag down a nearby officer.

'As a reminder, Lindsay was last seen wearing a purple Rab bubble jacket, black leggings, a white shirt with blue pin stripes and black trainers with a white sole.

"Her Huawei phone is also missing.'

Lindsay, a teacher, has links to Accrington and Burnley, as well as Kendal in Cumbria.

Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting log 0016 of August 13.

For immediate sightings please call 999.