Police have commenced a forensic-led search on a Clifton pub after announcing a ‘major development’ in their investigation into the disappearance of Bristol mum Claire Holland.
Claire, from Lawrence Weston, was 32 when she went missing on June 6 2012 and has never been seen or heard from since.
Although police believe she was murdered, a body has never been found.
Butlast night (Tuesday, August 2) officers said there had been a ‘major development’ in the case and re-arrested a man on suspicion of Claire’s murder.
The 40-year-old is currently in police custody and being quizzed by officers.
It’s the third time he’s been held in connection with Claire’s disappearance after he was arrested in 2019 and March of this year.
Search on the Barrelhouse pub
As part of the breakthrough, police also revealed they were searching the Barrelhouse pub on Gordon Road, Clifton.
It is not known what connection the pub could have had to Claire, with officers remaining tight-lipped about what it is exactly they’re looking for.
Claire was last seen at the Seamus O’Donnells pub in St Nicholas Street, three miles away in Bristol city centre.
Police are keen to stress that the current or previous owners of the Barrelhouse have no connection to the search activity.
When BristolWorld visited the scene this morning (Wednesday, August 3), the entire pub had been cordoned off, along with its back gate.
There were a number of police vehicles at the scene, including a forensics van, as well as an officer standing guard at the front door.
The pub is situated on a quiet residential street off Queen’s Road, around the corner from the Bristol University Student’s Union.
The venue used to be called The White Rabbit and was a popular student pub until its closure in 2021, when it was taken over by the new owners and renamed.
The pub is currently closed, and will remain so ‘for several days’ until the search is complete.
‘A new phase of enquiries’
Claire was a mum and her family have remained ‘heartbroken’ and ‘desperate for answers’ ever since she vanished over a decade ago.
She has been described as a sociable and bubbly person who loved going into town.
Det Supt Darren Hannant, of Avon and Somerset Police, said that the force had entered a ‘new phase of enquiries’ in the investigation.
He added: “Through our specialist family liaison officers, we’re keeping Claire’s family fully informed, as well as continuing to provide them with any help or support they need.
“In addition, we’re urging anyone with information on Claire’s disappearance, no matter how significant it may seem, to come forward and speak to us now. Use this opportunity to tell us what you know.”
There remains a dedicated appeal page active on the Major Incident Public Reporting site which allows information to be provided online. It can be found at https://mipp.police.uk/operation/5219C66-PO1.
If you have information on Claire’s disappearance, you can also call 101, giving the call handler the reference number 5219172645.
Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.