UK police believe Kiwi's disappearance was murder

  • 04/08/2016
UK Police car (File)
UK Police car (File)

A missing New Zealand-born woman may have been murdered by her partner before he was found dead under a motorway bridge, British police say.

Gina Lander had been in a relationship with David Stokes but disappeared from the couple's West Midlands home without a trace on March 15.

More than four months after she went missing, a coroner recorded on Wednesday that New Zealand national Ms Lander had been unlawfully killed.

West Midlands Police say they are now treating her disappearance as murder.

In a statement, the force said one line of inquiry was that Mr Stokes, of Walsall, murdered his 46-year-old partner and then disposed of the body.

Mr Stokes, 39, was found dead under a M6 motorway bridge in the Walsall area on April 21, five weeks after he reported Ms Lander missing on March 16.

The coroner also formally recorded his death as suicide.

Despite a number of national police and social media appeals in the Midlands, York, London, Scotland and the South West, Ms Lander has never been traced.

The inquests into the deaths of Mr Stokes and Ms Lander were concluded by the Coroner for the Black Country, Zafar Siddique.