Man charged with murdering Katie despite her familys hope that shes alive

More than 60 police, mountain rescue teams and fire crews have been combing Gisburn Forest in Lancashire for Katie, 33, last seen on Friday morning getting into a Ford Transit van in Burnley.

Detectives had said they feared there was only a “slim hope” she was alive and had been questioning a man, first on suspicion of kidnap but latterly on suspicion of murder.

Last night Andrew Burfield, 50, of Todmorden Road, Burnley, was charged with her murder. He will appear before Blackburn magistrates today.

Earlier, Katie’s sister Sarah had insisted on Facebook that the family passionately believed she was alive.

Sarah posted: “Can me and my family please ask people to stop saying rest in peace!”

“They have not found a body. We are still searching for our Katie!”

“She’s out there somewhere and we still need people to come forward with ANY information, big or small! This is absolutely heartbreaking for us.” A friend wrote on social media: “A nightmare for an amazing family. I have no words. Sarah Kenyon, my best friend in the whole world.”

“We won’t stop getting that gorgeous face out there for you.”

“Please don’t write Katie off, assuming she’s not alive due to the latest update. Keep sharing and looking at CCTV.”

Police had applied to magistrates for permission to hold their suspect – believed to have had a relationship with Katie – until 9 last night.

Detective Superintendent Gary Brooks said on Tuesday: “While I hold some slim hope that Katie may still be found alive I’m sad to say that she has now been missing for over four days.”

Kenyon on Friday “Despite extensive inquiries and appeals we have not found Katie, nor have there been sightings.”

She was last seen getting into a Ford Transit with a man in Burnley at 9.30am on Friday.

She is 5ft 9in with shoulder-length strawberry blonde hair and was wearing a blue shirt, black leggings and flip-flops. Her Samsung mobile phone went dead around 2pm on Friday.

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