Kate Prout murder: Digging expected to start today
COULD today be the day Kate Prout's body is finally found?
That is the question on everyone's lips as police are expected to start digging on Adrian Prout's former £1.3million-pound farm in Redmarley, four years after Mrs Prout, 55, went missing.
Prout, 49, admitted killing Kate to his fiancee Debbie Garlick on Wednesday after failing a lie detector test inside prison.
He had previously maintained his innocence after his wife vanished on Bonfire Night 2007. He was jailed for her murder a year ago despite the absence of her body.
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On Friday, Prout was escorted in handcuffs by police to the 276-acre Redhill Farm at around 11.30am and was driven into a nearby wood to pinpoint where he buried Kate.
Police tape, fencing and white tarpaulin were erected immediately around the site.
A team of officers arrived at his former property, Redhill Farm in Redmarley, today, and began planning how to excavate the land.
A spokesman for Gloucestershire police said it was unclear how long the dig would take - and refused to rule out the possibility of further arrests.
He said: "All I would say is that is that it is a live investigation. The search is beginning this morning to hopefully recover the body."
Police used a ground penetrating radar and a small mechanical digger to scour the earth for Kate Prout's body.
Officers confirmed that the operation to recover the corpse of the former school teacher had started shortly before lunchtime.
They used the radar - which omits electrical pulses to map below ground - to help guide them to her body.
A Gloucestershire Police spokesman said the force was treading carefully in a bid to not disturb any remains.
Meanwhile Debbie Garlick, who has a 21-month-old child, Evie, with Prout, has spoken of the shock revelation.
"He just confessed. [He said] I am sorry, I did it," she said. "Myself and my family are obviously devastated. My heart goes out to Kate and her family.
"I hope this gives them the chance to grieve properly for their sister and have a proper burial and somewhere where they can lay flowers."
She added: "Adrian is in a terrible state and I don't want anything bad happening to him.
"I'm not worried about myself. I feel badly betrayed but my main concern is for Kate's family. Their peace of mind is more important."
Prout's confession to strangling his wife came a year to the day after her relatives pleaded with him to reveal where he had hidden her body.
Don Cargill, chairman of the British and European Polygraphy Association, who conducted the lie detector test, said Prout's heart rate, blood pressure, sweat and breathing patterns were monitored as he was asked if he killed his wife.
"I told him that according to my tests, he was clearly a murderer," he said.
"But he only smiled again in what was one of the most surreal and chilling experiences of my life."
Back in the county, detectives revealed they had drafted in specialist equipment and extra manpower to start the operation to retrieve Kate's body.
Insp Les Pritchard, from Gloucestershire police, said: "There is specialist equipment and personnel that needs to be brought down to the scene before we start to dig.
"I should imagine some specialist officers outside the force will be needed. There will also need to be CID officers and a Home Office pathologist there at the scene.
"It is a two-day job to organise."
Campaigners fighting to free Prout from prison shut down their website on Sunday after his confession.
Meanwhile, police have confirmed that no other arrests have been made in connection with the case.