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Man arrested on suspicion of murder

PUBLISHED: 11:40 26 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:48 01 July 2010

Hundreds of anxious friends are appealing for information on Facebook after a young mother went missing from her Norfolk home.

Friends and family of Emma Ward, 22, were last night clinging to the hope she would be found alive - despite her husband being arrested on suspicion of murder.

Hundreds of anxious friends are appealing for information on Facebook after a young mother went missing from her Norfolk home.

Friends and family of Emma Ward, 22, were last night clinging to the hope she would be found alive - despite her husband being arrested on suspicion of murder.

Over 300 people have joined a group on the social networking site seeking leads on where she may be and have offered their support to Mrs Ward's parents, siblings and two-year-old child.

Mrs Ward, from Rockland St Peter, near Watton, has not been seen since the end of March.

Police sources said there is reason to suspect that Mrs Ward, formerly Noonan, has come to serious harm but have so far found no trace of her.

Murder squad detectives are questioning Nick Ward, 28, who was held in custody over-night. He was arrested at about 9am on Monday after Mrs Ward's family contacted Norfolk police to report her missing.

The couple's two-year-old daughter, who had been in the care of Mr Ward until his arrest, is being looked after by family members.

Mrs Ward's father, David Noonan, told the EDP: “I haven't seen her for a couple of months. I last saw her by the duck pond. It's just as if she's disappeared off the face of the earth.

“It's unlike her to leave her daughter. We see a lot of her, and we've just stopped seeing her.

“We've popped around a few times and she's never there. One week slips into the next. We're a bit suspicious.”

Forensic officers were searching the couple's house in Chapel Street, Rockland St Peter, last night. Mr Ward's blue Subaru was taken away for examination.

The couple moved into the house in November last year. An estate agent's board, advertising the property to rent, had been erected since Mrs Ward's disappearance.

Mrs Ward, who has two younger brothers and a sister who also live in the village with their parents, attended Attleborough High School but also carried out some studies at Wymondham College. She worked as a barmaid and waitress at the Bird In Hand at Wreningham until 2008 and more recently at the Pelican in Tacolneston.

Esther Miggin, landlady at the Pelican, said: “She started work here in May last year and left after about four months. We got on very well but she said she wanted to spend more time with her family.”

Julie Wilby, who set up the Facebook appeal page, said: “Emma has been one of my best-friends for years. She lives for her daughter and is the best mum in the world.

“We are desperate for her to be found safe and well but she is not the kind of person to go missing and, the longer this continues, the more worried we become that something terrible has happened.”

Kirsty Sillett, a school friend and godmother to the couple's daughter, said: “I last saw her on March 27 when I went to take Easter's eggs round for their little girl.

“She seemed fine; just her normal happy, bubbly self. It is certainly out of character for her to go missing without telling anybody. The whole thing is so strange.”

A police spokesman confirmed the joint Norfolk and Suffolk major investigation team was investigating the disappearance.

He added: “Officers would like to hear from anyone who may have seen Emma in the period since the end of March 2010 or has any information in relation to her current whereabouts to contact them.”

Anyone with information should contact the major investigation team on 0845 4564567 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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