French police launch probe after British mother-of-two, 52, vanishes

French police launch probe after ‘bubbly’ British mother-of-two, 52, vanished from her home a year ago carrying bag of men’s clothes and 6,000 euros after bizarre ‘outburst’

  • Mother-of-two Karen Milsom, 52, had disappeared from France family home
  • Her husband said she had outburst before storming out last year
  • He added she had texted their car was at a train station 25 miles away in Ruffec
  • Police are investigating and probing theories of new life, suicide or murder
  • Husband Mr Milsom said they had searched house and septic tank in hunt 

The disappearance of a British care worker, who vanished in France a year ago and whose car was found abandoned nearby, is being investigated by police.

Mother-of-two Karen Milsom, 52, left her home in the Charente region with some clothes and £5,400 of Euros after an outburst in the house she shared with electrician husband Steven.

Mrs Milsom, who was born in Bristol, had been a carer for an elderly British women before she disappeared after they moved to France 15 years ago.

Her husband Steven said police had been through their house with sniffer dog and even emptied their septic tank.

Officers are understood to be probing three theories: that she left to start a new life , may have committed suicide, or had been murdered.

Mr Milsom said he thought she would come back after she took their car, but said she texted him to say the vehicle was at nearby Ruffec station.

He added: ‘She had been fishing for an argument. She was in one of her moods.

‘She said no one cared about her. She would fly off the handle and then a couple of hours later she would apologise.

Mother-of-two Karen Milsom, 52, left her home in the Charente region in August last year

The family car was found at Ruffec Station 25 miles away three weeks later after a tip-off

‘I was gobsmacked when she left. She said she would be in contact as and when she wanted to.

‘Three weeks later, I got a text off her to say that the car was at Ruffec station.

‘She left of her own accord. I really don’t know what could have happened. I don’t think she’d have taken her life. I had two phone calls from withheld numbers. I spoke to her and it was a strange conversation.’

He told the Guardian: ‘Maybe she was craving a more exciting life. I’m hoping she’s going to show her face, but at the moment I’m in limbo.”

Mr Milsom said he reported her missing to the police three weeks later after it became clear she was not coming home.

She vanished in August and the Gendarmerie has made appeals for witnesses as it investigated what has happened.

Mrs Milsom and her family had moved to the Charente region 15 years ago to live

One of her friends Claire McDermott received a text from her in September last year and she believed she had been bored with her life in France.

Ms McDermott said: ‘She felt she had nothing to look forward to.’

The message said she would be back in December to explain, but she has not been seen again.

Another friend Sue Jones added: ‘She was a very bubbly person, very caring and empathetic.

‘But I knew she wasn’t very happy.’

She said that Milsom’s mother had killed herself when her daughter was a teenager.

She said: ‘I find it hard to believe that she would do that to her children.’

Milsom is one of more than 800 missing people on the files of the Lucie Blackman Trust.

It said in an appeal: ‘Karen has not been seen nor heard from since around 20th August 2019.

She has been living in France for 15 years and has kept in regular touch with her family.

‘Therefore this disappearance, from her home in Charente, France, is completely out of character and there are serious concerns for her.’

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