Bernadette Walker Murder Trial: Detective hopes Scott Walker will reveal where body is hidden after guilty verdict
The lead detective in the Bernadette Walker murder investigation has said she hopes Scott Walker will reveal where he hid the teenager’s body after he was convicted of killing her following a trial.
Bernadette (17) was last seen alive on July 17 last year, when Scott Walker went to pick her up from her grandparents home in Werrington.
She had been to stay with her grandparents for the night after she had made allegations that Scott Walker - known to her as ‘dad’ but not her biological father - had sexually abused her over a number of years.
Her body has never been found.
Today Scott Walker was found guilty of murder and perverting the course of justice following a trial at Cambridge Crown Court. .
Speaking to The Peterborough Telegraph, DI Justine Jenkins - who took over as Senior Investigating Officer for the case in March this year following the retirement of DCI Jerry Waite - said it was possible that Bernadette’s body may never be found. Extensive searches have taken place in countryside in and around Peterborough, but difficulties caused by the length of time since she went missing, and the weather, have meant her body has not been found.
However, she hoped that following the guilty verdicts Scott Walker would now help find Bernadette’s body so she could have a proper burial.
DI Jenkins said: “Everybody who has worked on this investigation is invested in it and would like to know what happened to Bernadette and be able to locate her body and give her a proper burial.
“As investigators you always want every piece of the puzzle and not finding Bernadette is a piece that’s missing.
“I can’t say whether we will ever find Bernadette or have an answer as to what her final moments were, or indeed where they exactly were but I hope that Scott Walker will provide further information to the team.”
As a ‘no body’ case, the investigation provided a number of difficulties and problems not faced in other inquiries.
However, the team were determined to get to the truth of the case, and get justice for Bernadette.
DI Jenkins said: “Dealing with a “no body” murder case brings it’s own complexities as there is obviously a wealth of evidence missing that we would ordinarily have in a murder investigation from Post Mortem and location of body and forensic exam of the body itself. We also have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the person is deceased.”
During the trial, the jury heard a large volume of evidence gathered from Scott’s mobile phones, as well as cell site data from Bernadette’s phone. The court was told Scott and Sarah Walker had used Bernadette’s phone after she was last seen, however, the phone has never been recovered.
The evidence relating to the phones was key to bringing Scott Walker to justice. The jury were told the pair made a midnight trip to Cowbit the day after Bernadette went missing. The trip was the last time Bernadette’s phone was switched on, but also included a lengthy period when both Scott’s phone was switched off.
The prosecution in the trial said this trip was possibly the time when they disposed of Bernadette’s body.
DI Jenkins said: “There were anomalies in Scott Walkers accounts and phone records including an unusual trip to Cowbit in the relevant time period along with all enquiries with friends and associates of Bernadette being negative that raised the suspicions sufficiently to declare a murder.
“A large amount of resources have been utilised in the search for Bernadette and the subsequent preparation for trial including search teams, dive teams, dogs, analysts, all Major Crime staff and forensic teams.
“It’s impossible to say how many people worked on the investigation as it varied from day to day.”
Scott Walker (51) of Century Square, Peterborough was found guilty of murder and four counts of perverting the course of justice. Bernadete’s mum, Sarah Walker has pleaded guilty to two counts of perverting the course of justice. She denies two counts of perverting the course of justice. The jury are continuing to deliberate on those charges.
The pair will be sentenced on a date in the future.