A GRIM search is under way for the body of a missing Huddersfield woman.
Detectives are sifting through huge mountains of waste on a North Yorkshire tip to try and find Sarah Elizabeth Mournian - thought to be a murder victim.
The 32-year-old has not been seen since September 18 but this week police arrived to carry out the macabre search on the waste site at Rufforth, near York.
A Birkby man, Kevin Newton, has been charged with Miss Mournian’s murder and is in custody. His home in Grisedale Avenue was subjected to a police forensic search lasting several days.
The Examiner can exclusively reveal that the search for Sarah Elizabeth Mournian has switched to a refuse tip.
Although Birkby man Kevin Newton has been charged with murdering 32-year-old Sarah, her body has not been found.
Officers arrived in force at a landfill site at Rufforth near York on Monday morning and have been carrying out an intensive search there ever since.
The landfill site – operated by North Yorkshire recycling and waste management company Yorwaste – is called Harewood Whin and is next to Rufforth Airfield on the B1224 York to Wetherby Road.
The former World War Two RAF bomber station is now mainly used for microlight flying and also has a flying school.
Newton, 40, of Birkby, has been remanded in custody awaiting trial.
He lives on Grisedale Avenue off Grimscar Avenue in Birkby and the terraced house was at the centre of an intensive police forensic search for many days following his arrest.
It is now boarded up.
The investigation is being carried out by detectives from West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team. The inquiry is being led by Det Supt Andy Brennan.
A West Yorkshire Police spokesman confirmed: “Officers from West Yorkshire Police are carrying out a search at the Rufforth site as part of the investigation into the murder of Sarah Elizabeth Mournian.’’
Sarah was last seen alive in Huddersfield on September 18 last year. A house in Dewsbury where she is believed to have lived in at one stage now lies empty.
At the time of her disappearance the police launched a missing person inquiry.
Sarah was white and 5ft 4in tall with brown hair.
When last seen she was wearing a green or khaki-coloured jacket, a blue jumper, a black denim mini-skirt with orange stitching and black, knee-length boots. She was carrying a black rucksack-type bag.
Yorwaste recycling and external affairs manager John Miller said: “Around 25 police officers arrived on Monday morning and have been here ever since.
“We have no idea how long they will be here. We have records of all deliveries to the site and where waste has been dumped at different parts of the site on different days.
“This has helped to narrow down the search.’’
He said the site does not take rubbish from Kirklees Council. Most of the waste comes from York and surrounding areas in North Yorkshire.
The landfill site is on old scrubland and has been used since the late 1980s.
Mr Miller said it is known as a Land Raise site which means most of the waste is now on the surface and will be eventually covered in clay, earth and grass.
The site is expected to be in use until 2020.
Last April Yorwaste won a contract worth more than £50m to handle York’s waste disposal for a further 15 years and recycling for five more years.