Lancashire Constabulary said today (Tuesday) that a man, who had previously been arrested on suspicion of her kidnap, had now also been arrested for the new offence. In a statement, the force said that it had not yet found Ms Kenyon, 33 – but investigators were “working on the basis that she is sadly no longer alive”.
Sixty trained search officers from across the country, being aided by search dogs, equipment and a plane, are now searching for her body.
The enquiry has now shifted from a missing from home to a homicide investigation, police said.
Det Supt Gary Brooks, Lancashire Police’s Head of Major Crime, said the family of Ms Kenyon were “understandably extremely upset by this latest development”.
Ms Kenyon, from Padiham, a satellite town of Burnley, was first reported missing by police two days ago, on April 24.
Lancashire Constabulary said at the time that they and the family were growing “increasingly concerned about Katie’s welfare” and that the disappearance was “out of character”.
They added that a man, in his 50s and from Burnley, had been arrested in connection with the search and was “helping police with enquiries”.
Today, the force said that the man “remains in custody where he is being questioned about her disappearance”.
Officers were making a further application to Burnley Magistrates’ Court this evening to continue to detain him until 9pm tomorrow (Wednesday).
Police stated that Ms Kenyon had last been seen at around 9.30am on April 22 travelling with a man in a silver Ford Transit to Bolton.
She was said to be wearing a blue shirt and white vest, black leggings and flip flops, and had light red hair.
Lancashire Constabulary reiterated their appeal for witnesses, information or evidence which may help them in their investigation.
Det Supt Brooks said: “While I hold some slim hope that Katie may still be found alive I’m sad to say that Katie has now been missing for over four days.
“Despite extensive police enquiries and media appeals we have not found Katie nor have there been any sightings of Katie.
“We have spoken to Katie’s family today and they are understandably extremely upset by this latest development and I have officers continuing to offer them support. My thoughts are with them at this time.
“I am really grateful for all the help that members of the public have given us so far and I would continue to appeal to anyone who has any information, however small, to come forward and speak to us. While we do have someone under arrest our enquiries are very much on-going.”
Det Supt Brooks added that officers were continuing “wide-scale” searches of a number of different locations, including at Gisburn Forest, in the Ribble Valley.
However, he politely dissuaded offers of public help in the search, as “I would hate for someone to get lost or come to harm while trying to help. Please leave it to us.”
Searching officers in Lancashire are being assisted by North Wales, Merseyside and Greater Manchester police forces.