A 40-year-old man is due to appear in court after being charged with the murder of a woman who has not been seen or heard from since she went missing ten years ago.
Mum-of-one Claire Holland was 32 when she went missing in June 2012 from Lawrence Weston in Bristol. She has not been seen or heard from since.
Claire was last seen leaving the Seamus O’Donnell’s pub in Bristol, at about 11.15pm on Wednesday, June 6, 2012.
Claire, who was 32 at the time, was subsequently reported missing 10 days later by her family, who had grown increasingly worried after she “failed to attend a number of meetings arranged for her”.
CCTV showed Claire walking along Baldwin Street heading towards the Seamus O’Donnell’s pub at roughly 9.30pm on Wednesday June 6.
But police don’t have any footage showing where she went afterward.
Darren Osment, of Chessel Drive, Patchway, was arrested on Tuesday, and charged earlier today. It was be the third time he was arrested on suspicion of the murder of the mum-of-one.
A then 37-year-old suspect was initially arrested on suspicion of the murder of the mum-of-one in 2019, and upon his release police said he remained under investigation.
The same suspect, now 40, was rearrested earlier this year, but was again released without charge. Osment has now been re-arrested and charged with her murder.
He’s been remanded in custody to appear before Bristol Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.
On the evening of Wednesday, June 6, 2012, Claire had spent the day in the city centre shopping and drinking, and detectives said it was “completely out of character” for her to not have made contact with her family and friends beyond that point.
CCTV showed her walking along Baldwin Street heading towards the Seamus O’Donnell’s pub at around 9.30pm, and pub staff confirmed she left later that evening just after closing time, at around 11.15pm.
Her family issued a public plea to Claire in the weeks after she went missing, saying in a joint statement: “Claire, we are extremely worried about the length of time you have been missing. Everyone is frantic not knowing that you’re safe and well.
“You’re not in any trouble, so please get in touch as soon as you can. We can help you and arrange anything that you might need. We miss you.”
New CCTV footage was released on the 10-year anniversary of Claire’s disappearance earlier this year in an attempt to track her last movements.
Of the murder charge, Det Supt Gary Haskins, head of the Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “This is a pivotal moment in our investigation and we have updated Claire’s family now that a man has been charged with her murder.
“We’ll continue to provide any support they may need through our specialist family liaison officer.”
Ben Samples, Senior District Crown Prosecutor with the CPS South West Complex Casework Unit, said: “The Crown Prosecution Service has authorised Avon and Somerset Police to charge Darren Osment, aged 40, with one count of murder.
“The authority to charge follows a complex investigation by the Major Crime Investigation Team, which was supported by the Complex Casework Unit.
“An extensive review of all the evidence gathered has led us to conclude that our legal tests to commence a prosecution have been met.
“The Crown Prosecution Service reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against Darren Osment are active and that he has the right to a fair trial.
“It is extremely important there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”
At the time of her disappearance, Claire was described as being white, around 5ft tall of a small build with shoulder length brown hair that is often tied in a ponytail.
She was last seen wearing black trousers, a short-sleeved black top with a grey t-shirt underneath.
She was also carrying a cream-coloured Primark re-usable carrier bag.