WITH VIDEO: Police exhume grave at St Aidan’s Church, Billinge in search for remains of Helen McCourt (From St Helens Star)
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Police exhume grave at St Aidan’s Church, Billinge in search for remains of Helen McCourt
10:34am Wednesday 16th October 2013 in News
POLICE have confirmed that officers are currently carrying out an exhumation at St Aidan’s Church, Billinge that is linked to the murder of Helen McCourt.
Officers are acting on intelligence, linked to the disappearance and murder of Helen in February 1988.
Authority to carry out the exhumation has been granted by the Ministry of Justice, HM Coroner for St Helens and the Bishop of Liverpool's Registry and with the agreement of the family who own the plot.
Helen McCourt’s family are aware of the intelligence and the exhumation.
Officers began work at the site, with the help of forensic scientists and local authority gravediggers yesterday Tuesday October 15, and they will be working with other specialists dependent upon any recovery'.
Ian Simms, who was convicted of killing Helen in, remains in prison. He has always maintained his innocence.
Det Chief Supt Tim Keelan, said: "It is 25 years since Helen McCourt went missing in February 1988. Ian Simms was subsequently convicted of her murder in 1989.
"But sadly for the family their suffering has been made worse over the years due to the fact that Helen's body has never been found and they have been denied the opportunity to give her a proper burial.
"We are acting on information suggesting that Helen's body could have been placed in this particular grave, and with the agreement of the family who own this grave and following approval from the relevant authorities we are now seeking to determine if this is the case."
He added: "I would like to say particular thanks to the family of those in the grave, who, put their reservations to one side to support Merseyside Police in relation to the intellingence we received.
"They have displayed a very altruistic attitude based on their desire to provide a conclusion to the family of Helen McCourt, who have suffered from not knowing where she is for almost 25 years."
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