Final search for body of woman killed in 1969 and buried at a farm

Muriel McKay was abducted in 1969 and murdered but her body has never been found (Picture: Rex)

It’s been nearly 55 years since Muriel McKay was kidnapped in a case of mistaken identity and never seen again.

But now her family may finally be on the cusp of closure as police will begin their last search for her body next month.

Muriel was abducted from her home in Wimbledon in 1969 and held captive at a farm in Hertfordshire. 

The two men who took her, believing she was the wife of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, were brothers Nizamodeen and Arthur Hosein.

She was in-fact the wife of Murdoch’s deputy, Alick McKay, but the pair still held her for ransom, demanding £1million.

When police arrived at the farm near Stocking Pelham, Muriel was nowhere to be found and she was presumed dead.

Both of the Hosein brothers were convicted of kidnapping and murdering Muriel even though her body was never found – and they refused to say where she was ever since.

Brothers Arthur (L) and Nazamodeen Hosein (R) were convicted of the kidnap and murder of Muriel McKay (Picture: Bettmann Archive)

That was until six months ago.

Arthur took the secret to his grave and died in jail in 2009.

But Nizamodeen – who was deported to his native Trinidad and Tobago after serving 20 years in prison – agreed to meet Muriel’s daughter Dianne McKay, 84, and her grandson Mark Dyer in January this year.

It was in that exchange that the 76-year-old finally revealed where they would find Muriel’s body at Stocking Farm, which was named Rooks Farm at the time of her death.

Nizamodeen, now 76, agreed to meet Muriel’s daughter Dianne McKay, 84, in Trinidad and Tobago in January this year – and revealed where Dianne’s mother Muriel was buried (Picture: Sky News)

Police previously erected cordons at Stocking Farm, formerly known as Rooks Farm, in 2022 – they will begin a dig to find Muriel’s body in July (Picture: Peter MacDiarmid/Shutterstock)

He pointed to a picture and told them: ‘Go through the kitchen door, come through the open land, turn left and it’s two feet from the hedge, that’s where the body is.’

It’s understood Hosein reiterated his claims about the whereabouts of Muriel’s body to Met Police detectives who flew out to the Caribbean to question him in March and reported that he was ‘happy to speak with us’.

Despite concerns about inconsistencies in the account given by Hosein, police have now confirmed the final dig will begin on July 15 and is expected to last five days, reports Mirror Online.

Det Supt Katherine Goodwin visited the farm on Thursday to plan the search and her team mapped the ground using a sensor.

Police pictured at the farm where Muriel is believed to be buried at the time of the original investigation (Picture: Rex Features/Bryan Jobson/ANL/Shutterstock)

The final dig will begin on July 15 and last five days (Picture: Peter MacDiarmid/Shutterstock/Rex Features)

Scotland Yard’s specialist crime command will work alongside forensic archaeologists and Hertfordshire Police.

‘It’s great to get to this point,’ said Muriel’s daughter Dianne. ‘It’s a big achievement to know we are potentially so close to finding where my mother is buried. 

‘I cannot bear to think my mother is lying there in that farm. Incredibly, the area of the farm where Nizam says she is buried is the one part which has not been developed, so we are confident my mother will still be there.’

Muriel’s grandson Mark added: ‘I’m confident my grandmother is there. I just want closure for my mother.’

Muriel McKay, who was the wife of Rupert Murdoch’s deputy, Alick McKay, was abducted and killed at the age of 55 (Picture: PA Archive)

Landowner Ian Marsh had previously refused a £40,000 offer from Muriel’s family for permission to excavate the farm and said he would only allow a search without a warrant if the police said they had evidence. 

After Nizamodeen was arrested in February 1970, he claimed he did not kill Muriel and that she had died of a heart attack after seeing the TV appeal by her family.

He said he and Arthur had hidden her body under a large ding heap behind the farm.

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