Fresh search for remains of woman kidnapped for £1 million ransom in 1969

Further searches for the remains of a woman who was kidnapped for ransom more than 54 years ago are to be carried out at a Hertfordshire farm, the Metropolitan Police has said.

Muriel McKay, the wife of a newspaper executive, was kidnapped in London and held ransom for £1 million by a pair who had mistaken her for Anna Murdoch, the then-wife of media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

Ms McKay, 55, was the wife of Mr Murdoch’s deputy Alick McKay, who like Mr Murdoch was Australian.

Crime – Murder – Murder of Muriel McKay – London
Nizamodeen Hosein, pictured aged 22 (PA Archive/PA Images)

Arthur died in prison in 2009, while Nizamodeen was deported to Trinidad and Tobago after serving his sentence.

The farm was searched at the time of the murder and again in 2022, with 30 police officers, ground penetrating radar and specialist forensic archaeologists used, but nothing new was found.

In December last year, Ms McKay’s family were provided new information by Hosein about the possible whereabouts of her remains and visited him in Trinidad and shared information, including footage, with the Metropolitan Police investigation team.

The decision to search the farm again was made after the investigation team visited Hosein to speak to him in person and interviewed him over three days following his offer to show her family where she was buried.

Commander Steve Clayman said that while they have concerns about inconsistencies in his account, officers will search an area where a manure heap once stood.

He said: “I’d like to thank Muriel’s family for their patience while we have taken time to really carefully consider all the information gathered in relation to this case. I know it has been a frustrating time for them.

“We have decided we will carry out a further search at the Hertfordshire farm where it is believed Muriel’s remains may be. We carried out an extensive search there in spring 2022 but unfortunately it was unsuccessful.

“Our recent inquiries mean other areas have been highlighted as being of potential interest and it is these we will search.

“The main area is where a manure heap once stood – we know now this was probably larger than we previously thought and therefore that area was not entirely searched in 2022.

“While we have concerns about inconsistences in the account provided by Nizamodeen Hosein, for completeness, we want to do this.

“At this stage we have not set a date for the search to begin, but will keep Muriel’s family updated and informed.

“The owners of the farm are fully aware and supportive and we thank them for their continuing help and co-operation.

“We all share a hope and desire to find Muriel’s remains and bring some closure to her family after all these years.

“We sincerely hope the search is successful. However, we have informed the family that if Muriel’s remains are sadly not found, it would not be proportionate to carry out any further searches or investigations.”

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