A 24-year-old man has been charged with murder after a 28-year-old Filipina model’s body was pulled from the River Severn in Worcester.
Charles Byrne was charged with murder and attempted murder, West Mercia police said on Thursday night.
The model named locally as Christina Rowe was pulled from the icy waters on Wednesday night.
She had not been seen since Monday when a witness said she had seemed ‘really chipper and happy.’
Byrne has been remanded in custody and will appear at Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court on Friday.
The model named locally as Christina Rowe was pulled from the icy waters of the River Severn in Worcester on Wednesday night
Pictured: Ms Rowe, who is originally from the Philippines, was working as a model in Worcester
Police say Ms Rowe’s family have been informed but formal identification is yet to take place
Ms Rowe, lived in Cheviot Close, Worcester, one of the addresses which police cordoned off on Wednesday after search crews found the body of a woman ‘in her 20s’.
Those living by one cordon claimed police confirmed a woman had been killed on a road splattered with what appeared to be blood.
Three sites in Worcester were cordoned off as search teams combed the River Severn for the woman’s body on Wednesday.
Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Dean Jones said earlier: ‘Unfortunately, we have located the body of a woman in her 20s in the River Severn during our searches last night.’
He added: ‘Her family has been informed, but formal identification has not yet taken place. A 24-year-old man was arrested yesterday and remains in police custody.
‘This is an isolated incident and I can confirm that we are not looking for anybody else in connection with the incident.’
Ms Rowe was reportedly last seen on Monday receiving a parcel from a postman and is said to have been ‘really chipper and happy’.
One neighbour living opposite the police cordon said: ‘For nobody to hear anything is quite unusual.
‘We have lived her for years and just keep ourselves to ourselves so don’t really know anyone in the street.’
Another neighbour said: ‘You see this sort of stuff on the TV not from your living room window – it’s all so surreal.
‘I’ve seen her [victim Christina Rowe] around here. I didn’t know her by name but she seemed nice.
‘She was very quiet and I think had only lived here for around a year.
‘I asked the postman who delivered her post when the last time he had seen her was and he said on Monday when he gave her a parcel.
A house is being searched by police and forensic experts found what appear to be blood spatters in a trail running along another road two miles away
Three sites in Worcester were cordoned off as search teams combed the River Severn for a woman’s body yesterday
‘Apparently she was really chipper and happy and had a smile on her face and that was only Monday.
‘I think she did have a boyfriend as I’d seen a guy around here a few times.
‘My daughter actually phoned me as she thought there was a Covid outbreak in the close but when I got in from work I realised this definitely wasn’t that and something much worse had happened.
‘It’s a very quiet close though not a lot happens and everyone keeps themselves to themselves.
‘As I said I’d seen her around a bit and she always seemed nice and friendly she was just quiet but you’re allowed to be quiet.’
A woman who lives a few doors away from the cordon said: ‘I live in the other close and I had the police knock at my door asking if I’d seen anything.
‘All they told me was that she had definitely been murdered here. I think it’s the house behind the trees in the close. All they could say was it happened here but couldn’t tell me any more than that.
Police cordoned off the small cul-de-sac yesterday while detectives investigated the murder which they said was an ‘isolated incident’. Pictured, alleged blood splatters
A cordon near the Diglis footbridge, Worcester, where teams searched a stretch of the river
Residents claim a man killed Ms Rowe and hid her body as they expressed shock at her death
‘It’s a very quiet close and all privately owned. There are a few council house but the rest of it is private. The houses are all usually quiet and there’s never any trouble.
‘This is all out of the blue for us stuff like this doesn’t happen around here. It’s a very peaceful place normally.’
Another resident living nearby said: ‘There were about 15 or 20 officers here yesterday, knocking on doors at around 8am asking if we’d seen anything.
‘I had noticed the outdoor motion lights at a house in the road kept flickering on and off at around 5am, a few hours before the police arrived.’
A third scene at Diglis Bridge overlooking the River Severn was temporarily shut off to public
Forensic experts were seen searching the bins outside a house and neighbours say a woman lived at the property with her adult son who had autism and a lodger.
One said: ‘The police did knock on my door yesterday to ask me but when I asked for details they said they couldn’t say anything.
‘There was a woman who lived there with two sons and one was autistic.’
Another neighbour said: ‘I don’t know the woman’s name but I’m sure she lived there with a lodger.
‘The first I knew something was wrong was when I saw lots of police on the street on Wednesday afternoon.
Diglis Bridge, Worcester, was closed as part of an investigation into an alleged murder
Forensic experts were seen searching the bins near the house
Tape was also across a home which police confirmed was linked with the other two scenes
A road was taped off as investigations into the woman’s death continued today
‘It’s a pretty shocking sight because this is a nice area and nothing as dramatic happens around here.’
Five police vehicles, including two forensic vans, and a fire and rescue boat crew were stationed at Diglis Bridge yesterday. The bridge and walkways around it either side of the River Severn were sealed.
West Mercia Police said the closure of Worcester’s Diglis footbridge had been lifted but investigations are ongoing at a house.
Police cordoned off a small cul-de-sac on Wednesday while detectives investigated the murder they said was an ‘isolated incident’.
A spokesperson for Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service said: ‘We were called at 1.21pm on Wednesday, February 10, to assist with a search of the river. We sent a crew from Worcester.’
A stretch of path leading to Diglis Bridge was closed as police investigations continued
Five police vehicles, including two forensic vans, and a fire and rescue boat crew are stationed at the bridge. The bridge and walkways around it either side of the River Severn were sealed
Forensic officers set up yellow markers in areas of interest on one of the cordoned off roads
Police vans and a car parked by the river as the search continued for a woman’s body
A West Mercia Police statement issued earlier Thursday read: ‘We have cordons in place at three locations in Worcester including the Diglis footbridge as part of a serious incident’
Police officer stood at the footbridge as pedestrians were turned away amid the investigation
Two forensic vans were at the scene while a Hereford and fire service rescue boat searched the river.
Police tape was also across a home which police confirmed was linked with the other two scenes.
A West Mercia Police statement read: ‘We have cordons in place at three locations in Worcester including the Diglis footbridge as part of a serious incident.
‘We would ask people to remain out of the areas while the investigation is underway.
‘A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is currently in police custody. We believe this to be an isolated incident.
‘As part of the investigation we are working closely with Herefordshire and Worcestershire Fire and Rescue Service and South Wales Police Specialist Search team who will be searching the River Severn in the Diglis area.’
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