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Police search canal as pair in court over murder of Julia Rawson

By Liam Keen | Tipton | Crime | Published: | Last Updated:

Two men have appeared in court charged with murder as police continued their search for missing woman in the Black Country.

Police teams search a canal in Tipton in a bid to find missing Julia Rawson, inset

Nathan Maynard-Ellis and David Leesley both appeared at Walsall Magistrates’ Court charged with murder as police search for missing Julia Rawson.

The 42-year-old disappeared from her home in Green Park Road, in the Kates Hill area of Dudley, on May 12.

Where Julia Rawson had been living in Kates Hill

Despite not finding her body, detectives believe she may have died.

They have been searching a house and a canal in Tipton over the past few days.

A large team of police investigators have been drafted into the search today

Maynard-Ellis, aged 28, from Mission Drive, in Dudley Port, Tipton, was arrested on Wednesday, initially on kidnap, and then on suspicion of murder.

Leesley, aged 23, from Dereton Close, Russells Hall, was arrested on Friday on suspicion of assisting an offender, and then later rearrested on suspicion of murder.

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A major investigation into her whereabouts was launched on Sunday as officers searched a property, in Mission Drive, as well as the nearby Birmingham Canal.

WATCH: Police scour nearby canal

Police search canal in Julia Rawson murder investigation

They appeared in court on Monday morning and were remanded in custody to appear at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Wednesday.

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A flatmate of Ms Rawson has described the last time he saw her before she disappeared.

Martin Brookes has lived at a property on Green Park Road for the last year, in a house share with five other people, including Ms Rawson.

Police vans parked up in Mission Drive where officers have been searching a property

The 32-year-old rents the room directly next door to her and said she kept herself to herself as they all do.

"She was the same as the rest of us, getting up for work, heading out, making food in the house, all normal," he said.

Liam Keen

By Liam Keen
Reporter - @LiamKeen_Star

Trainee reporter at the Express & Star, primarily covering Wolverhampton. Got a story? Get in touch on 01902 319688.

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