Police investigating murder of Rotherham mum ‘appreciate’ concerns after delay in finding body

Detectives investigating the murder of a Rotherham mum-of-four whose body was found just yards from where she was last seen more than three months later have said they ‘appreciate’ the public’s concerns.

By Sam Cooper
Friday, 19 April, 2019, 09:12

The naked body of Alena Grlakova, aged 38, was found concealed in a dried stream bed on land off Taylors Lane, Parkgate, on Monday, April 8.

She was last seen just yards away near the Fitzwilliam Arms pub on Boxing Day 2018.

Alena Grlakova

Det Chief Insp Mark Oughton said the land was searched in February, and following a review, officers returned to the site earlier this month and found her body.

South Yorkshire Police said the force’s professional standards department had been aware of the delay in finding the body.

Temporary Supt Iain Chorlton, who initially led Alena’s missing person enquiry before her body was found, said: “I fully appreciate the concerns that members of the community may have but please be reassured that this investigation is a priority for the force.

“Our neighbourhood teams continue to liaise closely with the local community, in addition to members of the Slovakian community. As always, please do speak to a member of your local neighbourhood team if you have any concerns.”

Police said officers remain in the Parkgate area handing out posters and speaking to residents as enquiries continue into the death of Alena Grlakova.

Det Chief Insp Mark Oughton said: “I’d like to thank everyone who has come forward with information so far; we are getting some positive calls in to the incident room and I’d encourage people to keep contacting us.

“Many people have said they regularly walk their dogs in that area or that they live nearby. If you haven’t yet spoken to an officer, please do get in touch with us.

“We remain keen to speak to anyone who may have seen someone acting suspiciously in the area between Boxing Day 2018 to Monday, April 8.

“Our appeal to trace the clothing Alena was last seen wearing also continues and these items may have been discarded in the local area.

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“She was last seen wearing a thin black sweatshirt with ‘Little Black Sweat’ written on it in white, black tracksuit bottoms with white stripes down the side and black flip-flops. She was also wearing clip-in hair extensions.

“We are also still looking to trace the man Alena was seen walking with on Scrooby Lane, towards Mangham Road, at around 8.30pm on Boxing Day 2018.

“We have a dedicated team working tirelessly to find out exactly what happened to Alena and to provide answers for her family and we are continuing to make progress. Further tests are ongoing to determine exactly how Alena died.”

Det Chief Insp Oughton has, as yet, refused to reveal how Alena’s body was concealed or why the body was not found by officers who initially searched the land in February.

He added: “As I’m sure you can appreciate, for operational reasons there is some detail we are unable to share with you but we will endeavour to keep you as updated as we can.

“Please do speak to us if you have any information, or concerns within the area.”

Members of the public can now report any information in relation to Alena’s death on the UK Major Incident Public Reporting Site.

Any information provided will be sent directly to officers working on the investigation.

For more information visit https://mipp.police.uk/

People can also call police on 101, quoting incident number 453 of April 8 or the incident room on 01709 443540.

Information can also be given, anonymously, to Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555111.