Police make appeal for information to help find Bernadette Walker’s body as Scott Walker jailed for life
Police have made an appeal for information to help find Bernadette Walker’s body after her stepdad was jailed for life for her murder.
Scott Walker may never be released from prison after he was given a life sentence - with a minimum term of 32 years - after he murdered 17-year-old Bernadette last year. Her body has never been found.
He was convicted of the killing earlier this year, and despite a number of pleas for him to reveal what he had done with her body, he has refused to speak to police about it.
The court heard how Scott Walker had killed Bernadette to keep her quiet, after she told her mum, Sarah Walker Scott Walker had been sexually abusing her.
However, rather than believe her own daughter, she helped Scott Walker try and cover up the killing. Sarah Walker was jailed for six years today.
Extensive searches of the countryside around Peterborough have been carried out using sniffer dogs, police divers and drones, but Bernadette’s body remains undiscovered.
Today, following the sentencing hearing at Cambridge Crown Court, Cambridgeshire police made another appeal for information, asking anyone who could help find Bernadette - who was known as Bea - to come forward.
Detective Inspector Justine Jenkins, from the Beds, Cambs and Herts Major Crime Unit, said: “I would like to thank our prosecution team who presented our case exceptionally well, enabling us to get justice for Bea after what has been such tragic circumstances. I still hope we may get the answers we need to be able to find her and lay her to rest. If anyone has any information about this investigation which may help us find Bea, please get in touch.
“We may never know the truth about what Scott did and why, but we do know Bea had made allegations of abuse against him.
“My plea to anyone who may have been subjected to abuse is to speak to us. Bea thought she could confide in her own mother, who should have been able to protect her, but instead she met a tragic end.”
The last confirmed sighting of Bernadette was on July 18 last year, when Scott Walker picked her up from his parents home in Werrington.
After picking her up, his mobile phone activated cell sites in the Dogsthorpe and Gunthorpe areas, both in the opposite direction, and at just before 11.30am it disconnected from the network and didn’t reconnect for an hour-and-a-half, during which time it is said he killed Bernadette.
He then phoned Sarah Walker, when it is said the plot to cover up the killing was formed.
For the following seven weeks, the pair deceived friends, family and police by laying a false trail using Bernadette’s phone and social media accounts to suggest Bea was still alive and had run away from home.
During the six-week trial earlier this year, the jury heard Bea’s mother had not reported her missing to police until 21 July.
Scott claimed he had stopped the car on their way back from his parents’ home to speak about the allegations Bernadette had made, but she had got out and ran off in Skaters Way, leaving her rucksack behind.
However, police discovered that instead of going straight to collect her that morning, Scott had gone to a lock-up garage owned by his parents in Walton. And it was not the only time he visited this location in the days after Bea was reported missing.
In the following 48 hours, both Scott and Sarah made multiple trips to the lock-up as well as to Cowbit in the dead of night.
Passwords on Bea’s social media accounts were changed and messages sent to friends and family to make it look as though Bea had simply run away from home.
The allegations Bea had made about being sexually abused by her father were passed to police via a social worker on 22 July.
On 10 September, Scott was arrested for this and allegedly coercively controlling Sarah. The following day, the investigation became a murder enquiry.
Bea’s rucksack was found in the Walton lock-up and a diary found inside. An extract read, “Told my mum about my dad and the abuse. She called me a liar and threatened to kill me if I told the police. What kind of parent wouldn’t believe their daughter?”
DI Jenkins said: “We know Bea was without her mobile phone when she left the family home on 17 July.
“Despite this, a number of messages via text and social media were sent from Bea’s phone, by both Scott and Sarah, to make it look as though she was still alive and not wanting to go home. This would then explain their failure to report her missing for several days.
“After three days of Bea having been ‘missing’, Sarah contacted us via webchat to ask for advice and eventually called 101 to make a formal missing person report. It was clear nothing had been done to make sure Bea was safe, just a very long line of lies and deceit which grew by the day.”
Information about the support available for those who have suffered sexual abuse, along with how to report information, can be found on the police website at https://bit.ly/3l8Pvdr.
Information about the investigation can be passed on to police either online at https://bit.ly/3lfTJzZ or by calling 101.