Man in court over murder of missing mother-of-five

A man has appeared in court charged with the murder of his former partner and mother-of-five Sarah Wellgreen.

Ben Lacomba, 38, appeared before a judge via video link at Maidstone Crown Court on Friday afternoon and was remanded in custody.

Lacomba, of New Ash Green, Kent, spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and nationality.

He was arrested for the second time in relation to the investigation on Thursday, having been detained on October 16 and later released on bail.

Detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, with authorisation from the Crown Prosecution Service, charged him on Thursday evening.

Ms Wellgreen, who would have turned 47 last week, was last seen in the Bazes Shaw area of New Ash Green on October 9.

Her body has not yet been found, and Kent Police said the search was continuing.

Police search
Police search

Police said that the only thing missing from her home was her black iPhone, and there have been no new transactions on her bank or credit cards.

Since Ms Wellgreen’s disappearance, police officers have searched woodland near Bluewater shopping centre in Dartford and areas in Greenhithe near the River Thames.

Divers have entered the River Darent in Dartford town centre, police and council workers have searched drains and the fire service has provided a drone.

Last month, Ms Wellgreen’s son, Lewis Burdett, thanked the public for their support since his mother’s disappearance.

He said: “The last month has been a never-ending nightmare and so distressing for our family.

“We would like to thank everyone for their kind thoughts and for respecting our privacy at this difficult time and ask that it continues.

“If there is any comfort to be found during this time, it has been through seeing the support the community has given in the search to find our mum.”

Lacomba is next due to appear at Maidstone Crown Court on January 18.