UPDATE: GALLERY: Police call off Fenland river search for missing Cambridgeshire mum

POLICE have tonight called off the search of the River Nene north of Whittlesey after they failed to find a missing mother who hasn’t been seen for three months.

Ongoing enquiries led police to carry out their first search in four weeks for Vitalija Baliutaviciene, who has been missing since August 12, in the waters around the Little Bridge on the B1040. A search of Rolts Wood, near Upwood, was also carried out on Tuesday.

A specialist cadiva ‘body and blood’ dog unit from West Yorkshire and divers from Cheshire, drafted in by Cambridgeshire Police, started looking for the missing woman around 10.30am.

Five divers from the North West Region Underwater Search and Marine Unit took turns to search the river 20 metres in all directions from the bridge for the Lithuanian.

A cloth, covered with algae and reeds, was retrieved from the river but divers paid close attention to a weir nearby after they found a sheet lodged underneath the small dam. It was later ruled as not significant by the underwater search specialists who believed it had been trapped for some time, longer than the 15 weeks the Peterborough woman has been missing.


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DI Martin Brunning, leading the investigation, called the search off shortly before 4pm. He said that it was disappointing that they weren’t able to find Ms Baliutaviciene but vowed to carry on until she was found. He also confirmed that after today’s search they would not be going back to search the waters.

Forensic experts also analysed a yellow bin liner, black from dirt and oil, that was taken out of the river. DS Andrea Warren said that the items inside were not significant to the investigation.

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Ms Baliutaviciene, who was due to turn 30 in September, hasn’t had any contact with her 10-year-old son since leaving her home in Burmer Road, New England, Peterborough, at 5am.

• Rimas Venclovas, 46, has been charged with the Vitalija’s kidnap and murder. He is due in court early in the New Year ahead of a three-week trial in March.

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