Published: 00:00, 11 January 2002
AN ex-Scotland-Yard detective hired to find missing Broadstairs nurse Louise Kerton has admitted he thinks she is dead. Louise, 24, has not been seen since she left her fiancé’s mother’s home in Aachen, Germany in July to catch a train to Ostend.
Former Chief Superintendent Dai Davies says police on both sides of the Channel have failed to investigate her disappearance properly. In an interview with the Sunday Express, Mr Davies said he was “convinced there has been foul play”. He was one of the key officers involved with the case of Louise’s former classmate, Lucie Blackman, who was found murdered in Japan last year.
The search for Louise suffered a major setback in November, when the family found that German police had been looking for the wrong person. The family is also angry about the lack of concern shown by Aachen police when they first reported Louise missing.
Her father Phil said: “We told the police that Louise's disappearance was totally out of character, but they insisted she had simply run away.
“Her last letter home was short, to the point and tidy - unlike her normal long, rambling style. “Parents do know their children’s personalities and Louise would have been in touch by now if she could. She doesn’t speak any foreign languages, so could only associate with English speakers.”
The Simon family, who Louise had been visiting, used to live in Broadstairs, but moved to Germany after son Michael was cleared of the murder of pensioner Josephine Bridges in the town in 1993.
Mr Kerton, a father-of-five, has visited Germany several times in the search for his daughter but now admits they may not see her again. He said: "I think this time of year is the crunch time. Louise has already missed her sister Marie’s 17th birthday at the end of October and if we don’t hear from her now we are certain it will be a body we hear about.” He has pleaded with the person who last saw his daughter to help put an end to their misery.
The family has already spent £12,000 on the search, and has now set up a bank account to collect more funds.
Donations can be sent to The Friends of Louise Woolwich PLC, New Ash Green branch, Sort Code 10-80-04, Account Number 84009147.