Preston man accused of Ellen Higginbottom's murder to appear in court

A middle-aged Preston man will appear before magistrates today charged with the murder of teenager Ellen Higginbottom.

Wednesday, 21st June 2017, 8:16 am
Updated Wednesday, 21st June 2017, 3:19 pm
Flowers and tributes near the scene of the murder of Winstanley College student Ellen Higginbottom, Orrell Water Park, Greenslate Road, Orrell.

The 18-year-old was found at a Wigan beauty spot in the early hours of Saturday with multiple neck wounds, 13 hours after she was reported missing by her distraught family. Detectives yesterday charged 51-year-old Mark Steven Buckley following a search at a property on New Hall Lane. He was yesterday remanded in custody to appear at Wigan Magistrates’ Court this morning.

Three other people last night remained in custody for questioning. A 47-year-old man from Billinge was arrested on suspicion of murder and a man and a woman, both aged 30, from Wigan who were detained on suspicion of assisting an offender.

The discovery of the student’s body at Orrell Water Park sent shockwaves through the local community and has led to a huge outpouring of grief.

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Murder victim Ellen Higginbottom, 18

Mourners left heartfelt tributes outside Winstanley College, where Ellen had been studying for her A-levels.

One such message came from a group of neighbourhood police officers which read: “So sorry we couldn’t get to you on time.”

Boyfriend Ryan Warren posted his own emotional tribute on Facebook, thanking those who had helped in the frantic search for Ellen after she had been reported missing on Friday evening.

He said: “Ellen, the past two years of knowing you have been the best years of my life. I am so incredibly honoured to have been such a big part in your life. I have made so many amazing memories with you that I will forever cherish and will remain in my heart.

Murder victim Ellen Higginbottom, 18

“I loved you Ellen, I wanted to travel the world with you and explore like we planned, I’m so sorry that I cannot take you to all those amazing places we wanted to see.”

Police established a cordon around the New Hall Lane property on Monday.