Police investigating the disappearance of Natalie Hemming have said it’s “increasingly unlikely” the mother of three will be found safe and well.
Detective Sergeant Chris Ward, head of the Thames Valley Police Major Crime Unit, told a press conference today that 50 officers were working on the case.
He said: “This is a missing person investigation at the moment but we are very concerned for Natalie’s safety.
“The priority for me is to find her safe and well although that is increasingly unlikely, we accept that.”
Police have now released more information in connection with the disappearance of Natalie, 31, of Alderney Avenue, Newton Leys, Milton Keynes.
She was last seen shortly after 4pm in Hemel Hempstead, where she went to visit her mother, on Sunday.
Mr Ward said she was reported missing on Tuesday afternoon by her mother and a friend.
The detective added there was nothing to suggest why Mrs Hemming may have gone missing. She said she did not leave a note or pack clothes and has not accessed her bank account.
He said: “This is a missing person appeal, although we are very concerned about Natalie’s wellbeing and safety. My priority is finding her well and safe.”
Poignantly he added:“I hope she is found safe and well however I’m also realistic. “As time goes on and she hasn’t accessed her account, she hasn’t spoken to her children, she hasn’t been to work.
“All these things indicate that harm has come to her.
“We are extremely concerned about her. She hasn’t been in contact with her children, she hasn’t been in contact with her family, she hasn’t turned up for work.
“These are all the things we expect her to do.”
Natalie, whose children are aged three, six and 10, is described as 5ft 3in tall, slim with shoulder length brown hair and blue eyes. She was wearing blue jeans, a blue top and short black jacket. She is married and works as an administrator.
Police say it was unusual for Natalie not to have contacted friends or family and not to have turned up for work on Tuesday.
They have released an image of her people carrier car in the hope of establishing what has happened to her.
The black Ford Galaxy s-max reg EJ12 UWG was last seen travelling from Milton Keynes to Aylesbury on Sunday night and the early hours of Monday morning. Mr Ward said: “I am interested in anyone who saw the vehicle to get in touch. Maybe it was parked up or they saw it in suspicious circumstances.”
He said the force’s priority remained finding Natalie and that 50 officers are working on the case.
The roads Mrs Hemming’s car was seen travelling down were the A413 from Milton Keynes to Aylesbury, the A41 in the Aylesbury direction and the A418 out of Aylesbury going towards Milton Keynes.
Neighbours say she lived at her £350,000 four bedroom semi-detached house with her husband Paul and the three children, who are currently being looked after by family members.
They said police have been quizzing them over whether they saw anything at around midday on Sunday.
Officers have been carrying out door-to-door enquiries and it is believed the couple’s two 4x4 vehicles have been taken away for forensic examination.
One man said: “They asked me ‘did you see anything on Sunday around midday. Did you see any movement?’
“They asked my partner and I the same question separately and I know they’ve asked other neighbours the same thing.
“I went out to walk the dogs at around 6.30pm on Tuesday night and saw the police outside the house.”
The couple moved into the house in August and were welcomed by Natalie and Paul, who also have a British bull dog.
The neighbour added: “They seemed like a lovely family. We weren’t very close but would say hello whenever we saw them.”
Police have said that a 42-year-old man who is known to Mrs Hemming has been arrested on suspicion of her murder.
He remains in custody and police have requested more time to question him.
No-one else has been arrested in connection with her disappearance, and police would not comment over whether any weapons had been found in her car.