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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 February, 2005, 18:24 GMT
Joanne hunt called off for night
Joanne Nelson
Joanne's body is hidden under branches on open land, police say
Detectives have called off their search for the body of missing Hull woman Joanne Nelson for the night.

Miss Nelson, 22, disappeared on Valentine's Day from the Hotham Road North home she shared with Paul Dyson.

On Tuesday, her mother Jean Nelson said she prayed her daughter would be found and urged people to help the police in any way they could.

Mr Dyson, 30, has been charged with her murder and remanded in custody at Hull Magistrates' Court.

He is due to appear at Hull Crown Court on 2 March.

In a statement Mrs Nelson said: "Our pain and devastation grows with each day Joanne is missing.

"We just pray she will be found.

Jean Nelson
Mrs Nelson's pain at her daughter's disappearance "grows every day"
"We appeal to people to help the police by giving them information and thank those who have already helped."

Police said intelligence indicated her body was somewhere in an area from the West Hull villages along the Humber to the Ouse and up to the north of York.

Miss Nelson's body is understood to be in the open near to a wooded area and has been covered with branches from a pine or similar tree, Humberside Police said.

Det Supt Ray Higgins said: "I would like to appeal to farmers and land-owners to check their land to look for anything that is unusual or out of place.

"I would ask them to pay particular attention to areas near to gates and to be especially alert if a gate has suffered recent damage.

Car seen

"It has also been suggested that the gate may have green bottles near to it."

"Vale Watch (Farm Watch), which covers the Vale of York area, has also made their members aware of the search for a body and is asking for their assistance to check their land."

Mr Higgins said there had been a confirmed sighting of Miss Nelson's white M-registered Renault Clio in Howden, East Yorkshire, at 1430 GMT on Sunday 13 February and appealed for anyone who may have seen the car after that time to contact police.

"This is a very difficult time for Joanne's family and everyone involved in the search," he added. "I need the public's help in tracing her body as soon as possible to help her family during this distressing time.

Search teams

"Joanne's family is desperate to find Joanne so they can begin to come to terms with this tragedy."

More than 100 people have joined the search for Miss Nelson.

Nine volunteers and three dogs from the Trossach Search and Rescue Team in Scotland have been helping along with the Search and Rescue Dog Association based in the Peak District.

Another nine members of the International Rescue Corps, an independent United Nations-registered rescue service, are also taking part.

At least 16 officers from North Yorkshire Police have also been drafted in to work alongside 80 police and staff from Humberside Police.

The search teams have scoured Brantingham on the outskirts of Hull and the Hessle Foreshore area.

Police divers also searched a two-mile stretch of Barmston Drain, which runs through fields near the couple's home into Hull city centre.

Search teams have been hampered in recent days by snow and bad weather.

Police scour farmland for Joanne Nelson's body

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