Man remanded on murder charge as police search for missing mother-of-two

A man has appeared in court accused of murder as police continue searching for a missing mother-of-two.

Andrew Burfield, 50, made a brief appearance at Blackburn Magistrates’ Court charged with the murder of Katie Kenyon, 33, who vanished last Friday after being seen getting into a van in Burnley.

Burfield, of Todmorden Road, Burnley, spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address during the three-minute hearing.

Ford Transit van
A Ford Transit van highlighted by police (Lancashire Constabulary/PA)

Wearing a grey sweatshirt and jogging bottoms, Burfield, flanked by three prison officers, was told his murder charge could only be dealt with at a higher court and he was remanded into custody until Friday.

Gill Smith, chairwoman of the bench, told him: “You will be remanded into custody until tomorrow where you will appear at Preston Crown Court.”

Ms Kenyon, from Padiham, Burnley, was last seen at around 9.30am last Friday when it is thought she travelled in a Ford Transit van which left the town towards the Bolton-by-Bowland area of Lancashire.

On Wednesday police carried out searches in Gisburn Forest, a remote beauty spot in east Lancashire.

Gisburn Forest
Gisburn Forest (Alamy/PA)

More than 60 specialist search officers from four police forces scoured the area of dense forest looking for Ms Kenyon.

The hunt involved police and fire service officers, dog teams, mounted police, mountain rescue volunteers and drones.

Ms Kenyon is described as white, 5ft 9in, with shoulder-length strawberry blonde/ginger hair.

She was last seen wearing a blue shirt or jacket and white vest top, black leggings and flip flops.

Her family, who say her disappearance is out of character, are being supported by specially trained officers.