Parents of missing teenager charged with her murder

Martin Evans
·2 min read
Bernadette Walker, 17, from Peterborough was reported missing by her parents on July 21, three days after they claimed she had got out of their car and run away - PA/PA
Bernadette Walker, 17, from Peterborough was reported missing by her parents on July 21, three days after they claimed she had got out of their car and run away - PA/PA

The parents of a teenager who disappeared almost two months ago have been charged with her murder, even though police have found no sign of her body.

Bernadette Walker, 17, from Peterborough was reported missing by her parents on July 21, three days after they claimed she had got out of their car and run away.  

Mother-of-nine Sarah Walker, 39, and partner Scott, 50, claimed their daughter texted them two days after she disappeared to say she would be home soon, but never arrived.

Police initially classified the case as medium risk and her parents put up posters around Peterborough appealing for their daughter’s safe return.

They also used social media to appeal for help to find the teenager, who was thought to be staying with friends.

However, on Friday detectives announced they had launched a so-called 'no-body' murder investigation and sealed off the family’s five bedroom council property in Peterborough.

The following day they arrested Mr and Mrs Walker, who are not married, on suspicion of murder.

On Monday, the couple were charged with killing the 17-year-old and made their first appearance in court via videolink before being remanded in custody.

Detective Superintendent Jon Hutchinson said: "Whilst my team have made significant progress with this investigation in the last few days, we are yet to find Bernadette.

"Therefore my plea is for anyone who has information on what has happened to her, or where she might be, to get in touch as a matter of urgency."

Following her disappearance, her mother, who works as a care assistant, and had her ninth child just six months ago, described Bernadette as her “eldest princess”.

She also said she had not been able to sleep or eat properly since she went missing.

On September 8, her father posted a message to Bernadette on his Facebook page, saying: 'The police came for your hairbrush and toothbrush tonight. You can imagine how much we are both worried. We miss you.'