Police searching for missing teenage girl start second week of digging

Police searching for missing teenage girl start second week of digging up disused allotment two miles from where she was last seen 20 years ago

  • Police continued to search a waste ground site for missing Donna Keogh, 17
  • The teenager disappeared from Middlesbrough in April 1998 – 20 years ago
  • Tents were seen at the allotment site at Troon Close, on the Saltersgill estate
  • Officials are treating the cold case as a murder investigation  

Teams continued to work on a waste ground in Middlesbrough as part of the investigation into the disappearance of Donna Keogh, 17, (pictured) who vanished in April 1998

Police who are searching for a missing teenage girl have started the second week of digging up a disused allotment, just two miles away from where she was last seen 20 years ago. 

Search teams will continue to work on a waste ground site in Middlesbrough as part of the investigation into the disappearance of Donna Keogh, 17, who vanished in April 1998.

Police are treating the cold case as a murder investigation, and tents and police tape were seen at the allotment site at Troon Close, on the Saltersgill estate.

Officials launched a fresh inquiry into Donna’s unsolved murder and those of Vicky Glass, 21, and Rachel Wilson, 19, who vanished in 2000 and 2002, respectively.

Officers began the job of clearing a patch of wasteland in the hunt for the care home worker’s body last week.

A tent has been erected, cordoned off by police tape, and strips of plastic sheeting can be seen on the ground with piles of sieved soil on top.

Detectives said a review of the old inquiry had identified the site, along with several others, as a place of interest.

At the time Donna vanished, the land was being used as allotments. She was last seen two miles away on Hartington Road in the Gresham area of Middlesbrough.

Detective Chief Superintendent Jon Green of Cleveland Police said the ‘painstaking’ search was expected to take five days.

Police are treating the cold case as a murder investigation, and tents and police tape were seen at the allotment site at Troon Close, on the Saltersgill estate 

Officers began the job of clearing a patch of wasteland in the hunt for the care home worker’s body last week

Donna lived with her cousins at King House Central Mews in Middlesbrough town centre, although she was known to frequent other parts of the town

He said it was one of a number of sites likely to be searched, but added: ‘Yes, there’s a possibility we might find Donna.’

Cleveland Police spokesman Will Green said: ‘The search activity at Troon Close will continue into next week and we would like to thank local residents for their continued support.

‘The duration of the search was always going to be dependent on a number of factors which could not be known until work began at the site and so we will continue into next week.’


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The force added that there is no set timetable for the excavation, and that it will be concluded once the site has been thoroughly examined.

Last year, Cleveland Police secured £3.77million of funding from the Home Office for a Historic Investigations Unit to launch a fresh inquiry into Donna, Vicky and Rachel’s murders. 

However, unlike Donna, both their bodies were later found.

All three came from the Middlesbrough area, but as yet there is no specific evidence to link their murders. 


Officials launched a fresh inquiry into Donna’s (left and right as a child) unsolved murder and those of Vicky Glass, 21, and Rachel Wilson, 19, who vanished in 2000 and 2002 respectively, after securing £3.77million in funding from the Home Office

Detectives said a review of the old inquiry had identified the site, along with several others, as a place of interest

A 59-year-old man has been on police bail for four years in connection with Miss Wilson’s death. 

Cleveland Police said Donna was born on November 29, 1980 and was the middle of three children to Brian and Shirley.

Officers have established a #finddonna website in an effort to jog the memories of anyone who seen Ms Keogh before she disappeared.

According to police: ‘Donna was born in Middlesbrough, Cleveland and was a very popular girl. She had many friends and spent a lot of time with her cousins who were of a similar age to her. 

‘Donna loved doing her hair and make-up and had a keen interest in fashion. She was schooled locally and at 16 years old spent time working at a care home for the elderly.

‘Donna was known to keep in regular contact with her family and friends, which ceased in mid-April 1998. This resulted in her concerned family reporting her missing. On May 30, 1998 Cleveland Police launched a missing from home inquiry.

‘Donna was never found and it is strongly suspected that she was murdered sometime close to the time she went missing.’

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