Officers investigating the disappearance of a young mother have today (Thursday June 9) announced a £10,000 reward for information as to her current whereabouts.
The announcement marks the fifth anniversary of the disappearance of Malgorzata Wnuczek who has not been seen since she left work, in Leicester, on 31st May 2006.
Her family, including her daughter Ola, who was aged three at the time of her disappearance, used to have regular weekly contact with Gosia – as she is affectionately known to her friends and family.
But Ola, now 8, and her parents Ryszard and Bozena Smolka have heard nothing in five years. Previous appeals by Leicestershire Constabulary, supported by the Polish Policja, have received widespread interest, both here and in her native Poland, but they are missing that vital piece of information, as Detective Superintendant Andy Lee explains:
“Malgorzata has now been missing for five years. In the course of our investigation to find her we have identified over two-thousand people who are potential witness have raised nearly two-and-a-half thousand lines of enquiry and taken 108 statements.
“We’re convinced that someone within the Polish community, someone who was in Leicester at the time of her disappearance in May 2006, who may still be in the country or who may have moved on elsewhere in Europe, can give us the missing piece of information that helps us determine her current whereabouts.
We’re hoping this £10,000 reward will be the catalyst to tease that information out. We know someone knows where she is and why she hasn’t had contact with her family for 5 years. If you do know her current whereabouts or have information that leads directly to us locating Malgorzata then please get in touch as this information could be worth £10,000 to you, that’s nearly 45,000 Polish Zloty.
“We’re also keen to hear from anyone who knows the reason why she hasn’t been seen or heard from since 2006. We and Malgorzata’s family have to be realistic. They have had no contact from her in 5 years and that is highly unusual behaviour. There is a strong possibility that she is no longer alive. However, we will continue to hope that Malgorzata is safe and well until we have definitive evidence that she is not.”
The reward is part of a fund specifically set aside for the purposes of helping to detect crime. It was announced at a press conference held at Gosia’s former place of work. Detectives working with the company have been able to locate her clocking off card, which is the last verifiable proof of her movements that fateful day in May.
Malgorzata’s family have also provided never before seen footage of Gosia and her daughter, filmed in the months leading up to her disappearance. They show a young mother clearly devoted to her child and serve to enhance the concerns as to why she has not been in touch since.
Detective Superintendant Lee added:
“£10,000 or 45,000 Zloty is a lot of money to most people. To a lot of people it could make a huge beneficial change to their life or circumstances. I am sure there is someone sitting at home, at an address somewhere in Leicester today, who has been holding back with information, or who has been unsure as to whether what they know is important.
“Believe me, just the smallest piece of information, could help us locate her and establish why her family have had no contact with her for half a decade. So please, do get in touch as you will not only be changing the life of a little girl who misses her mother terribly, you’ll also potentially be changing your own.”
Anyone who knows Malgorzata’s current whereabouts or who has information that could help police locate her are asked to call +44 (0) 116 248 4162 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 2003 – Malgorzata marries a man she met at University in Poland and shortly afterwards Aleksandra is born
November 2004 – Malgorzata’s husband comes to the UK to find work
11 July 2005 – Malgorzata and 2-year-old Aleksandra join her husband in England and set up home in Knighton Fields Road in Leicester.
End of September 2005 – Malgorzata begins working at a company on Sunningdale Road in Leicester
January 2006 – Malgorzata’s relationship with her husband breaks down and they decide to separate
15 January 2006 – Aleksandra taken to Poland to stay with grandparents
March 2006 – Malgorzata makes visit to Poland to visit Aleksandra. Relocates from Leicester to Milton Keynes to work.
April 2006 – Malgorazata returns to Poland to visit Aleksandra.
May 2006 – There is information at this time that Malgorzata is back in Leicester living first Equity Road then Mill Hill Lane.
28 May 2006 – Malgorzata phones her parents in Poland to tell them she is okay. This is their last conversation with her.
29 May 2006 – Malgorzata sends a text message to her parents. This is their last communication from her
31 May 2006 – This is the last time Malgorzata sent a text message from her phone. It was sent to a work colleague.
31 May 2006 –Malgorzata’s card used at a shop in Leicester. This is the last transaction on her card.
4 June 2006 – Malgorzata’s birthday
26 June 2006 – Malgorzata’s parents report her missing to the Polish Authorities
November 2006 – Polish Authorities ask Leicestershire Constabulary to assist in locating Malgorzata
June/July 2007 – Possible sighting in Wakefield, West Yorks
April/May 2008 – Possible sighting in Bristol.
November 2008 – Possible sighting in Exeter. This was investigated and found not to be Malgorzata
January 2009 – Possible sighting in London
March 2009 – Possible sighting on Narborough Road in Leicester
March 2009 – Possible sighting in Edinburgh
May 2009 – Possible sighting in Milton Keynes
July 2009 – Family visit the UK and DNA profile generated so that this can be cross-referenced against national forensic databases.
2009-2011 – Enquiries continue in UK and Poland to locate her.