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Man held as police step up hunt for missing County Durham grandmother
DETECTIVES are tonight (Sunday, March 11) continuing a nationwide search for a missing grandmother, while questioning a 50-year-old man in connection with her disappearance.
Pamela Jackson, 55, and from County Durham, was reported missing on Thursday evening by her son, Joe.
Dozens of officers are now involved in the hunt for her and forces across the country have been alerted in the belief she may have come to harm.
Neighbours in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, today (Sunday, March 10) spoke of their shock after hearing that the man, from Halifax, West Yorkshire, was being questioned about Ms Jackson's disappearance.
Mark Batty, 41, who has lived next door to her on The Crescent for 12 years, said: “It is a big police investigation. There have been crime scene investigators, four police vans and CID officers there for two days.
“As time goes on and she has not turned up it looks as though something is not quite right. But it will still come as a shock if something has happened to her.”
Mr Batty’s wife, Tracey, said: “It is unusual for her to go missing and not tell her son.”
Ms Jackson does not drive and is not currently employed due to health issues.
Paul Hodgson, 31, who also lives next door, said: “I know her to say ‘hello’ to. She is quiet and keeps herself to herself. People will be shocked by what is going on.
“Nothing like this ever happens around here. I hope they find her safe and well.”
There has been no definitive sighting of Ms Jackson, also known as 'Cris' or 'Crissie', since last Saturday when she was seen at her home.
As well as Joe, who is 21, she also has two other grown-up sons, Andrew and Christopher.
Superintendent Graham Hall, of Durham Police, said: “We have officers working very closely with the family trying to provide support to them in these most demanding of circumstances. It is very difficult time for them. They are very concerned.”
There has been no activity on Ms Jackson's mobile phone for several days and her Facebook page has also not been updated.
More than 30 officers and specialist staff are now working with police forces across the country on a number of lines of enquiry.
An incident room has been set up at police headquarters in Durham, while house-to-house enquiries in the Chester-le-Street area continue.
The 50-year-old man police are questioning is currently in custody at Durham police station.
Detective Superintendent Ken Donnelly said: "Our main focus is on finding Pamela, and we have a number of leads to follow up in our continuing search for her.
"However, the actions we have carried out so far give us genuine reason to suspect she may have come to harm, and for that reason we have made an arrest.
"We currently have a man in custody, helping us with our enquiries."
Ms Jackson is described as 'petite' and is five feet tall, slim and with very long, black hair, which is usually straight.
She has a black rose tattoo to the upper right arm and large Celtic style letters to the upper left arm and usually wears 'vintage style clothing' with rings and costume jewellery.
Anyone who might have seen her in the last seven days, or who has any information which could help the police is asked to contact the force on 101 or to call Crimestoppers, 0800-555-111.