Natalie Putt: Timeline of key developments in search for missing mother

It is a mystery that for years seemed would never be solved.

Natalie Putt disappeared from her home in Lower Gornal in September 2003
Natalie Putt disappeared from her home in Lower Gornal in September 2003

On September 1, 2003, Natalie Putt left her home in Thornleigh, Lower Gornal, to go to the shops but never returned.

The then 17-year-old left behind her baby Rhys, who was just 11 weeks old.

In the years that followed there were dozens of reported sightings but all came to nothing.

Her bank account was never touched, which led detectives to believe she was unlikely to be alive.

The family's hopes of finding answers were raised periodically, including when a paddock where Natalie kept horses was dug up, with the search ultimately coming to nothing.

Key developments in the hunt for Natalie:

  • September 1, 2003 - Natalie disappears from her home having said she was going to the shops. A voicemail suggested she could have been in friends in Tamworth. She was never seen again.

  • September 8, 2003 - Fears for Natalie's welfare continue to grow a week on from her disappearance. Her father David gives an appeal, saying 'it is like she has disappeared off the face of the earth'.

  • September 2003 - Police search homes of Natalie's relatives and take DNA samples as hunt is stepped up.

  • October 30, 2003 - Police offer £200 reward for information on Natalie's whereabouts in the hope of encouraging people to come forward.

  • December 16, 2003 - Detectives dig up the garden at the former home of Natalie's boyfriend in Church Street, Brierley Hill.

  • December 19, 2003 - Detectives scour Penn Common, near Wolverhampton. Stables in Himley where the family kept horses are also searched.

  • March 5, 2004 - An 18-year-old man is arrested on suspicion of murder. He is later released without charge. Police frogmen search pools off Foxlands Close, Lower Gornal.

  • April 6, 2004 - Expert team who investigated Soham and Jill Dando murders called into assist the inquiry.

  • September 2010 - An image of how Natalie would have looked seven years on is released in the hope of finding answers.

  • March 18, 2013 - A paddock next to Himley Lodge, off the A449, where Natalie kept horses, is dug up almost 10 years after she went missing. But after three days the search was called off as nothing was found.

  • September 2013 - A decade on from her disappearance, detectives say there is no evidence she was murdered or planned to kill herself.

  • May 2017 - Natalie's half-sister Rebecca Coggins tells the Express & Star she will never give up hope of seeing her again.

  • June 6, 2017 - Police dig up graves at a cemetery 150 metres from the Thornleigh home she disappeared from.

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