A MURDER inquiry has been launched after the body of a missing woman was found in a cemetery.

The body, found on Saturday evening, is believed to be that of missing mum-of-two Lindsay Birbeck, police have said.

Officers launched their investigation this morning after confirming the discovery, made by a dog walker at Accrington Cemetery, was the body of a woman.

While no formal identification has taken place, police say they believe the body is that of the teaching assistant.

Lindsay Birbeck, 47, was last seen on CCTV in the village of Huncoat, near Accrington, on 12 August.

Det Ch Insp Jill Johnston from Lancashire Police who is leading the enquiry, said: “First and foremost my thoughts are with the family and friends of Lindsay at what must be an incredibly difficult time for them. I need the public’s help to find out what happened to Lindsay after she went missing so I can provide some answers for them.

“The picture of Lindsay on CCTV Burnley Road is the last sighting we have of her and I need to find out where she has gone after that point and what has happened to her.

"I would appeal for anyone with CCTV, especially in the area of Peel Park Avenue, to come forward and I would also like to speak to anyone who thinks they saw Lindsay, or anyone matching her description, or who saw anything suspicious in that area on the afternoon or evening of August 12th to come and speak to us.

“At this stage we do not know how Lindsay’s body came to be in the cemetery, or how long it has been there so I would also like to speak to anyone who has seen anything suspicious in or around the cemetery area after August 12th or anyone who has any drone footage or dashcam footage which could assist.

“Please come forward with any information, no matter how insignificant you may think it is as it could provide the key we need to finding Lindsay’s killer and providing those answers for her family.”

Any witnesses can call police on 101.