Police digging up local land in hunt for body

FORENSIC search experts and soldiers have been helping the police search for the body of a woman whose husband was jailed for murdering her 14 years ago.

They are digging up land in Priest Lane, on the edge of West End, looking for evidence in the case of Tina Baker.

Police community support officers at the scene at Priest Lane Farm on Monday

Tina, who ran a smallholding in Pennypot Lane, Chobham with her husband Martin, disappeared in July 2002, without telling anyone where she was going.

The 41-year-old was reported missing two weeks after last being seen alive and a subsequent police investigation concluded she had been killed by Martin. A former SAS soldier, he had had a violent relationship with his previous wife and was known to row with Tina.

Tina Baker was murdered by her husband but her body has never been found

He was jailed for life after a murder trial at the Old Bailey but Tina’s body was never found. One theory was that it had been fed to pigs at the couple’s Brookfield Farm, just before the animals were sent for slaughter.

Now Surrey Police are searching land at Priest Lane Farm in Priest Lane, inside the Pirbright Ranges perimeter fence. The initiative is part of Operation Sally, which continued investigating after the murder conviction.

A police spokesman said information had been received which resulted in the decision to carry out forensic investigations at Priest Lane.

Detective Inspector Chris Rambour, from the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, added: “The investigative work around Tina Baker’s death has continued since 2006. We have received information which has resulted in our decision to carry out further investigation at this location in West End.

Martin Baker, who was jailed for murder in 2006

“We will be doing this in conjunction with our local partners, including Surrey Heath Borough Council, and with assistance from the British Army. We wanted to make local residents aware of the reasons for the increased police presence in the area and apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused.

“However, it is extremely important to us that we do everything we can to provide answers and closure for Tina’s family and friends, and our thoughts remain with them at this difficult time.”

On Monday, tents had been set up in the grounds of the farm, where vans belonging to Prometheus Forensic Services were parked. That company specialises in investigating fires and explosions caused by gas and flammable liquids.

For more on this story, get the 13 August edition of the News & Mail this Thursday

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