The sister of the Polish butcher arrested over the disappearance of Hull student Libby Squire has insisted her brother is innocent.
Detectives have sealed off Paweł Rełowicz’s rented house and towed away his silver Vauxhall Astra after they arrested a 24-year-old man on suspicion of abducting the missing Hull student, 21.
His sister Paulina Szymanska, 28, who is living in Poland, said: ‘I can’t believe it and I hope it’s a bad dream.’
She told The Sun: ‘We come from big, poor, but wonderful family. Our parents raised us to be good, hard-working people.
‘He could never do such a thing. I really hope police will find this poor girl and that it’s a big misunderstanding.’
His mother Marzena added: ‘He was a good, quiet guy, helping around the house. He never caused any trouble.’
Police have raided the home of Polish butcher Pawel Relowicz (left) over the disappearance of Libby Squire, 21, (pictured right) in Hull a week ago
Yesterday afternoon officers stopped the public entering a large area of Oak Road playing fields surrounding a pond with a helicopter hovering above as police searched drains and bins. It is half a mile from Libby’s home.
Teams were also scouring a stretch of riverbank and a series of abandoned buildings – but officers turned walkers away and refused to say why they were back in an area they have already checked in the seven days since she vanished.
A forensics officer was also seen bagging up evidence and photographing an area of pathway leading into the cordoned-off zone.
Bacon factory worker Relowicz, who according to his Facebook profile is a martial arts enthusiast, moved into the raided property around a year ago with his wife and their sons.
The terraced house is less than a mile from where Libby was last seen sitting on a bench seven days ago and forensics officers were carrying out fingertip searches as detectives removed Relowicz’ belongings including a PC and a tablet computer.
Colleagues of factory worker Relowicz were shocked at news of his arrest.
Tadeusz Skibicki, 39, said: ‘When I heard the news it was a big shock. Pawel is a quiet, normal person. He has never been violent.’
According to another friend, Relowicz had worked at the Karro Food Group’s headquarters in Malton, North Yorkshire, for around five years.
His wife also worked there but had been on materity leave following the birth of their second child in October.
Forensics teams are said to have been carrying out fingertip searches inside the sealed-off property in Hull and were seen taking away evidence in bags including tablets, a laptop and a PC
The score board shows a request fo help finding Libby Squire during the Betfred Super League match at the KCOM Stadium
Police stopped the public entering an area around a giant pond near Libby’s home in Hull (circled in red top right) – days after already searching the area
The public have been stopped from entering an area around a pond and police were also surveying the River Hull running through the same area
Police are also searching a cordoned of section of woodland next to an abandoned building at the Oak Road playing fields
Police search a cordoned of section of woodland next to an abandoned building at the Oak Road playing fields and a forensics officer takes away evidence in a bag
Teams of Humberside Police officers have been searching the student area of Hull where she lived including the Oak Road playing fields next to her house where they have been lifting drains
An electronic billboard van was parked near to where Libby lives in Hull pleading for information about the missing student
A map showing where Miss Squire was last seen and where police have been carrying out searches and now an arrest
Last night officers raided their house in Raglan Street and were seen taking away a 24-year-old suspect now arrested on suspicion of abducting Libby, who was last seen on a bench last Thursday after a night out with friends.
Timeline: The week-long hunt for missing Libby
11pm Thursday, January 31: Libby is refused entry at Welly Club around two miles from her home and put into a taxi
11.30pm: Libby was dropped off on Wellesley Avenue – but does not go inside her house
11.45pm: Libby was seen sitting on a bench around the corner on Beverley Road. A witness says she was seen speaking to the driver of a car.
12.09am: Detectives believe Libby stayed in the area for about half an hour and was wandering the streets near her student digs.
12.30am, Friday February 1: A near-neighbour says she woke up after hearing ‘blood-curdling’ screams.
February 6: A 24-year-old man is arrested on suspicion of abduction and is ‘helping police with their enquiries’
Searches intensified at the suspect’s house and near a park pond and abandoned buildings.
On the seventh day of the search police insisted the disappearance of the 21-year-old philosophy undergraduate is still a missing person’s inquiry with teams of officers again searching the area for her today – three days after her parents Lisa and Russell made a tearful appeal for information.
After last night’s arrest officers towed away the Astra and remain at Rełowicz’s property this morning where they were taking photographs inside and forensics officers were looking for fingerprints on the front door.
John Garrity, 72, described the moment the police arrived on his neighbour’s doorstep last night.
He told MailOnline: ‘The police came knocking at my door and asked for access to the back garden. I knew it was to do with the couple next door but I never for a second imagined it was anything to do with the missing girl.
‘The silver Astra that was taken away by the police last night does appear to belong to him, I have seen him in it many times.
‘We’ve never had much conversation. The most that I have spoken to them was when a wooden panel in their fence fell down the lady asked whether I would call the landlord for them because her English wasn’t up to it’.
He said they had children and a dog, adding: ‘It is quite a shock to find this kind of police activity at their home to say the least’.
Hairdresser Iwona Reczulska said: ‘I last saw Pawel about two weeks ago on Friday or Saturday. He was his normal self and was chatting about his kids as he usually did.
‘He works five days a week at a bacon factory in Malton which is about an hour away.
‘He’s not one to go out drinking he always tells me that he likes to spend weekends at home with the family.
‘it’s very surprising to me to hear that they have been mentioned over something like this, they have seemed their normal selves with no sign of anything wrong or different.
‘To me he was a normal, friendly, quite quiet guy.’
A friend of the couple, who didn’t want to be named, said: ‘I know him, his wife comes shopping here a lot. He would come in maybe every two weeks and he came in more when she was pregnant.
‘He seemed like a normal, very quiet person. I do not believe he could do something so bad.
‘I was never scared of him or felt threatened. He would just come and buy his things then leave.
‘The woman would sometimes come in every day with her children. They just seemed like a normal family.’
Paweł Rełowicz lives with his wife (pictured together) and their two children after towing away his silver Vauxhall Astra from the street outside at 10pm last night
Libby (left, and right with a friend) had been on a drunken night out with friends and returned to her student digs in a taxi at 11.30pm last Thursday after being turned away from a nightclub.
Officers have also towed away a silver Vauxhall Astra from the street outside the property where a man was held over Libby’s alleged abduction. Neighbours told MailOnline the car belongs to Relowicz
Police remain at the scene of the abduction arrest today as the investigation into Libby’s disappearance took a fresh twist
A forensics officer uses a camera and a tripod to photograph an area near abandoned buildings in Libby’s local park
Police are questioning the 24-year-old suspect today – but would not confirm if it was Pawel Relowicz.
Police are looking in areas they have already searched in recent days after arresting a man in suspicion of abduction
Part of a public park only a few hundred yards from Libby’s house has also been closed off this afternoon.
Investigators were pictured searching the front gardens of houses surrounding the park with long brown poles.
Others could be seen looking inside a derelict house on the park’s grounds that’s fenced off to the public.
Officers refused to comment on why a section of the park is closed.
Detective Superintendent Matt Hutchinson said: ‘We are still treating Libby’s disappearance as a missing person’s enquiry.
‘I have said previously that we are keeping an open mind as to her whereabouts and that is still very much the case.
‘Our number one priority is to find Libby Squire and we are still conducting extensive searches and appealing for any information from the public.’
The senior officer said: ‘During the course of our investigations we have spoken to a taxi driver and another motorist who stopped to help Libby on the night.
‘I want to make it clear that these two individuals are not suspects in this enquiry.
‘My officers have been and will continue to work around the clock in our search for Libby.’
Libby had been on a drunken night out with friends and returned to her student digs in a taxi at 11.30pm last Thursday after being turned away from a nightclub.
Instead of going inside, CCTV revealed that Libby went to sit on a bench around 300 yards away on Beverley Road. She was last seen on an adjacent street, Beresford Avenue, at just after midnight before disappearing and a near-neighbour of Libby’s said she woke up suddenly having heard ‘blood-curdling screams’ at around 12.30am.
It has also emerged today that a man in a balaclava was seen near Libby’s home, according to the Mirror.
Police are searching gardens for clues in neighbouring streets to where last night’s arrest took place, including here in
Officers are using rakes and other tools in undergrowth as they search for any sign of the missing student
The missing student’s parents Lisa and Russell made an emotional appeal for information on Monday and are back in Hull after the arrest
Sepcialist officers with sniffer dogs enter Libby’s student house in Hull – where she was dropped off after a night out
Officers were seen raking long grass in a wooded area in Oak Road Playing Fields in Hull, 500 yards from where the university student was last seen on CCTV
Police search the frozen Oak Road Pond in Hull but police have not found any trace of the missing student ye
A witness to the arrest, who lives on the street, and watched out of the window, told MailOnline: ‘There were loads of police in the house and you could see the flash of cameras at they took pictures of the rooms. At around 10pm they took away the Vauxhall Astra on the back of a lorry. We’re all in shock’.
Jorge Ramos, 22, who lives next door to the raided property, said: ‘I think a family live there. I knew there had been searches around the university for Libby, but I never imagined that someone would be arrested on this street’.
A mother-of-two who lives on Raglan Street said the disappearance of Libby had ‘upset’ many people in the area.
She said: ‘It is just awful, you have to feel for the parents to be honest. We heard the noise of the lorry and didn’t think anything of it. Apart from the time of it, which I thought was a little bit strange.
‘Being a mum, as well, it has really upset me. After a week you feel it is not going to be a good outcome and you begin to wonder. Hopefully, though, it will bring some closure to her parents. It’s the not knowing. You fear the worst, but hope and pray for the best that she will be found.’
Police have not named the suspect currently in custody.
A Humberside Police spokesman said: ‘The man remains in our custody, assisting us with our enquires. We have not yet found Libby and doing so remains our top priority.
Neighbour John Garrity identified the Polish family living in the home raided by police
‘Libby’s parents have been informed of the man’s arrest and we’re continuing to support them at this difficult time’.
Dozens of police officers have been searching for her for the past six days without finding any clues.
A specialist police marine unit has thoroughly searched a large pond and waterway a few minutes’ walk from Miss Squire’s home in Hull.
And yesterday 20 officers scoured a wooded area near playing fields without success.
At least one known sex offender has been questioned and had his premises searched, and police have carried out searches at numerous properties in the area.
Humberside Police said today that the investigation is officially still a missing person inquiry – but concerns are growing with each passing day.
A neighbour who asked not to be named said yesterday: ‘If she had suffered an accident then you’d think she would have been found by now. It doesn’t look good.’
Liberal Democrat city councillor Paul Drake-Davis added: ‘People are very concerned about it. Everyone is in a bit of shock and we are praying for good news.
‘This is generally regarded as a safe area. I know it’s a cliché but you don’t expect this sort of thing around here.
‘But as long as police say there is hope, we will keep that candle burning for her. It’s a desperately sad situation but we won’t give up hope just yet.’
A taxi dropped off Miss Squire outside her home in Wellesley Avenue at 11.29pm last Thursday.
Students who saw her said she was so drunk that she was ‘mumbling and struggling to walk’.
Instead of going inside, Miss Squire walked down the road and was seen on CCTV sitting on a bench on the main Beverley Road 300 yards away.
Police said she was in the area until 12.09am. There were reports of screams at around 12.30am.
Chief Superintendent Phil Ward said: ‘While the investigation has been treated as a missing person inquiry, we continue to keep an open mind as to the circumstances surrounding Libby’s disappearance. We must carry out a thorough investigation and explore all possibilities.’
Miss Squire’s parents, Lisa and Russell, have travelled to Hull from their home in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, and are anxiously awaiting developments.
They have walked the streets where their daughter was last seen.