Detective defends police investigation after body of missing Rotherham woman found yards from where she was last seen on Boxing Day

The detective leading the inquiry into the murder Rotherham woman has defended officers’ work after her body was found just yards from where she was last seen more than three months ago.
Alena GrlakovaAlena Grlakova
Alena Grlakova

Det Chief Insp Mark Oughton said the naked body of Alena Grlakova was 'well concealed' when it was found in a stream bed behind the Fitzwilliam Arms pub, Parkgate, on Monday.

The 38-year-old mum-of-four, originally from Slovakia, had last been seen at the pub on Boxing Day 2018.

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Det Chief Insp Mark Oughton said: "The body was found very close and the body had been concealed.

"This is a very large enquiry and there has been a dedicated amount of officers working on this from the start.

"There has been over 60 sighting of Alena since around December 26 - all of those have had to be looked into.

“There has been hundreds of hours of CCTV looked at and, at the time of her disappearance, some things have been said about her going back to Slovakia - all these things have had to be looked at.

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"There has then be a review of the search, which has resulted in search officers returning to that scene and doing a more extensive search, which has resulted in the body being found."

Det Chief Insp Oughton would not reveal how the body had been concealed but added he believed it had been there since ‘late December’.

He added officers were keen to speak to a man who wished Alena a merry Christmas as she walked with another man walked towards Scrooby Lane.

Asked to address the public concern about Alena's body being found so close to where she was last seen,the detective added: "It's very concerning and I can understand perfectly that the community will be concerned.

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"We have got officers in that area. If anybody does feel concerned please speak to them.

If you need to pick up the phone and speak to an office please do. I just want to reiterate that this type of offence is extremely rare."

In a statement Viliam Grlak, Alena's husband, said: "Alena moved with her family to Rotherhamn in 2008.

"She was a wife and mother to four children, she came to Rotherham for a better life and education for her children. She separated from her family which lead to her leading a more chaotic and transient life.

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"Although this happened she was still a mother to four wonderful children and she will be greatly missed by her family."

A 45-year-old man remains in custody on suspicion of Alena's murder.

Det Chief Insp Oughton said a post-mortem examination carried on Alena's body was inconclusive and further tests were being carried out.

Anyone with information is asked to call 101, quoting incident number 453 of April 8, call the incident room directly on 01709 443540.