Lancashire man charged with murder, rape, child sex offences and other crimes following missing woman investigation

Detectives investigating the disappearance of a Darwen woman have charged a man with her murder - as well as a series of other crimes.

Friday, 1st May 2020, 2:15 pm
Susan Waring, 45, went missing in Darwen in January 2019, but her body has never been found

The charges follow a year-long investigation into the disappearance of Susan Waring, 45, who went missing in Darwen in January 2019.

Police confirmed in March last year that her disappearance had become a murder investigation, but Ms Waring's body has never been found.

Following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service police have now charged Alan Edwards, a 47-year-old Darwen man, with her murder.

Edwards has also been charged with a series of other offences, including multiple rapes and child sex offences.

The full list of charges are as follows:

- One count of murder

- Four offences of rape

- An indecent assault against a girl aged under 14

- One offence of causing a female 13 or over to engage in a penetrative sexual activity

- 12 offences of assault

- One offence of making threats to kill

- Two wounding offences

The alleged offences relate to three women and one girl between 1998 and 2019.

He is due to appear before Preston Magistrates’ Court today (Friday, May 1).

Edwards, 47, of Blackburn Road, Darwen, was arrested in March last year in connection with the murder of Ms Waring, but was soon released under investigation.

He was re-arrested on Wednesday (April 29) and charged with the above offences.

The disappearance of Susan Waring

No body has yet been found in the search for Ms Waring, who it was initially thought was last seen on January 30, 2019 at around 10pm, leaving a home on Blackburn Road.

However, the last corroborated sighting of her was at a doctor’s surgery on James Street West on Wednesday, January 16, in the afternoon.

In early April last year, officers searched three homes in the Blackburn Road area in connection with her disappearance.

Ms Waring is described as being around 5ft 5ins tall, of small build, with brown eyes and collar-length, curly, brown hair.

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting incident reference 0359 of April 29.

You can also report information to police online here.

Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555111.