The family of a mother of two who was found dead after going missing for a week have told of their ‘heartbreaking nightmare’ – as police confirmed she died of ‘head injuries’.
Katie Kenyon, 33, was last seen getting in a silver Ford Transit van in Burnley on Friday, April 22, which was then driven 17 miles into the Ribble Valley.
Her ex-boyfriend, Andrew Burfield, 50, from Burnley, appeared at Preston Crown Court charged with her murder and is due to face trial on November 14.
Friends, family and wellwishers have now raised more than £14,000 to pay for Ms Kenyon’s funeral.
Katie Kenyon, 33, had not been seen since getting in a silver Ford Transit van in Burnley on Friday, April 22, which was then driven 17 miles into the Ribble Valley
Andrew Burfield, 50, was charged with Ms Kenyon’s murder earlier this week while police were still searching for her
In a statement on the JustGiving page, her family said they wanted some of the money to help Katie’s children.
‘On Friday April 22, our heartbreaking nightmare began when our Katie was taken away from her children and family far too soon,’ they said.
‘We as a family are putting together this JustGiving page for Katie to have the best send-off that Katie deserves & for Katie’s son and daughter & their future to fulfil Katie’s dreams she had planned with her children.
‘As we know you all want to help, this would be the most appreciated way. Any donations will be truly, gratefully received.
‘Thank you for all your kind words and support. We know you’re all behind us.’
Meanwhile her sister, Jenny Kenyon, paid tribute to her ‘beautiful big sister’ and said she would love her forever.
Police were pictured searching Gisburn Forest in Slaidburn, Lancashire, on Friday, April 29. Ms Kenyon’s body was found later that day
A court sketch of Burfield, who is set to be put on trial for Ms Kenyon’s murder in November
Police announced on Saturday that they found a body in the Forest of Bowland on Friday night, April 27, which they believed to be Ms Kenyon’s.
Now Lancashire Police has confirmed it is her and a post-mortem has determined she died from ‘head injuries’.
‘We can now sadly confirm that the body found in the Forest of Bowland is that of Katie Kenyon,’ it said.
‘Police found Katie on Friday following extensive searches and she has now been formally identified as the missing Padiham mum, 33.
‘Our thoughts remain with Katie’s family and loved ones at this difficult time. The family continues to be supported by specially trained officers.
‘A Home Office post-mortem examination was conducted yesterday and the cause of death was given as head injuries.
‘We would like to thank, once again, all those who helped during the search for Katie.
‘Andrew Burfield, 50, of Todmorden Road in Burnley has appeared in court charged with Katie’s murder and will be face trial in November.’
Ms Kenyon’s body was found by police in the Forest of Bowland on Friday night, Lancashire Police confirmed
The mother of two went missing on Friday, April 22, with police describing her disappearance as extremely ‘out of character’
A silver Ford Transit van which police say Ms Kenyon got into on Friday morning, April 22
Lancashire Police was seen erecting tents in an area of Gisburn Forest as they continued their search on Friday
Burfield appeared in court on Friday charged with her murder.
The 50-year-old appeared at Preston Crown Court by videolink from HMP Preston, speaking only to confirm his identity.
He was remanded into custody ahead of a crown court trial in November.
Judge Medland QC set a date for Burfield to return to court on August 22 for a plea and trial preparation hearing, Lancashire Live reports.
Police spent a week desperately searching for the mother-of-one, with officers focusing their efforts on the Forest of Bowland and Gisburn Forest.
Police set up forensic tents in multiple areas in an effort to trace her after she disappeared last week.
Typically the structures can be used to protect forensic evidence, but may also be staked out to provide cover for equipment.
More than 60 specialist search officers from four police forces have been scouring land looking for her. The hunt involved police and fire service officers, dog teams, mounted police, mountain rescue volunteers and drones.
Scores of officers have been seen scouring the 3,000-acre Gisburn Forest, some 23 miles from Todmorden Road in Ms Kenyon’s hometown.
Ms Kenyon was seen getting into a silver Ford Transit van which left Burnley towards the Bolton-by-Bowland area at around 9.30am.