As killer uncle Stuart Campbell refuses to reveal the whereabouts of his niece and is denied parole, MailOnline takes a look at some other murder cases where a body had not been found.
Historically it has proved very difficult to convict murderers if no body has been discovered.
But there are cases where confessions and witnesses have unmasked the killer and improvements in forensic investigations and technology have made it easier.
Here are some of the cold-blooded murderers who have been convicted, even though a body was not uncovered.
Bernadette Walker – the 17-year-old murdered by her stepfather
Bernadette Walker, 17, (left) of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, pictured with her mother Sarah Walker (right). The teenager was murdered by her stepfather in 2020
Scott Walker (pictured left) told jurors that Bernadette’s (right) allegations of sexual abuse were ‘untrue’
Harrowing diary entry from Bernadette reveals abuse claim
The un-dated entry seen by jurors reads: ‘Told my mum about my dad and the abuse. She called me a liar and threatened to kill me if I told the police.
‘She said that the other kids matter more. I love feeling unwanted. I feel nothing right now cause I always thought mum would deal with and it would all go away.
‘But no, he’s still here telling me I made it up.
‘What kind of parent wouldn’t believe their daughter?
‘But it’s fine, I’m going to pretend it’s okay till I leave home then I will block them out of my life.
‘I’d rather say I’m an orphan than say I have abusive parents who couldn’t give a sh*t about me or what happens to me.
‘If I was brave enough I probably would have already left, or just killed myself.’
The 17-year-old girl was murdered by her stepfather, Scott Walker, 51, in July 2020.
Bernadette, who was from Peterborough, was last seen on July 18 when she was collected from her grandparents’ home by Walker.
He later said she had jumped out of the car and run away on the journey home.
But it was soon discovered that Bernadette had accused her stepfather of filming her and sexually abusing her.
Bernadette had written in a diary: ‘Told my mum about my dad and the abuse.
‘She called me a liar and threatened to kill me if I told the police… What kind of parent wouldn’t believe their daughter?’
Scott Walker, who was unemployed, sent messages from the teenager’s phone to give the impression that she was still alive and ‘hacked’ her social media accounts with her mother, Sarah.
Sarah and Scott Walker concocted a story the cover up the murder in the aftermath of the killing.
Sarah had given birth to her tenth child just a few weeks earlier. But she was also planning to leave Walker – father of four of her children as well as two others from previous relationships – for a new lover.
Walker was infuriated by her infidelity and the prospect of his family being broken apart.
Sarah Walker reported her daughter missing on July 21, triggering a police investigation.
A court heard that Scott Walker had likely strangled his stepdaughter.
Bernadette’s older brother, Anthony Walker, said Scott had a history of attacking family members.
He said: ‘He punched me in the stomach when I was like 18 or 19, but he used to only go for the younger ones because they couldn’t open up about it properly.
Chilling exchange between Bernadette’s mother and police call operator as she reports her 17-year-old daughter missing.
‘He’d try and emotionally abuse us and I hate to say this because it makes me seem weak, but it did work on me a lot of the time.
‘We were working as hard as we could to get him out of the house, but he was very persistent on staying and wouldn’t leave.’
Scott Walker was jailed for life with a minimum of 32 years and refuses to reveal where Bernadette’s body is.
Sarah Walker was jailed for six years for two counts of perverting the course of justice, having admitted two other counts.
Mike O’Leary – businessman killed over affair with old friend’s wife
Michael O’Leary (pictured), 55,was murdered by his friend, farmer Andrew Jones. His body was burned on a pile of wooden pallets
Andrew Jones (left) discovered Michael O’Leary, 55, was having an affair with his wife Rhianon (right)
Jealous killer Andrew Jones’s failed attempts to cover his tracks after murdering his wife’s lover
Jones used a ‘secret’ mobile phone belonging to his cheating wife Rhianon, 51, and pretended to be her to lure Mr O’Leary to Cyncoed Farm for a ‘cwtch’ – Welsh for cuddle
Instead Mr O’Leary came face-to-face with Jones brandishing a .22 Colt rifle
Jones said he ‘wanted to scare’ Mr O’Leary by shooting two or three rounds into the floor.
He told the jury: ‘I didn’t want to shoot him dead. He said: “All right Jones”. I walked over and put the gun at my hip pointing it in the air.
‘He walked back and tripped backwards.
‘I took the opportunity to kick him in the face so he was semi-conscious.
‘When he came around, he lunged at me – the gun went off. He said “Ahh” and slumped.’
Jones then texted Mr O’Leary’s wife Sian saying: ‘I’m so sorry X’ in an attempt to make Mr O’Leary’s disappearance look like suicide.
Mr O’Leary’s silver Nissan Navara was found locked and abandoned near the River Towy in Carmarthen and police divers were called in to search for his body.
But Jones, of Bronwydd, Carmarthen, burned it to destroy any evidence.
Jones piled up 24 wooden pallets and used a digger to put Mr O’Leary’s body on top in the early hours of January 29 and set it ablaze in an oil drum ‘over several days’ in a series of ‘intense’ fires.
Jones admitted to using electric fans to speed up the burning. A burned piece of Mr O’Leary’s intestine was recovered from the drum but his body has never been recovered.
Michael O’Leary, 55, was murdered in 2020 by his friend of 25 years, farmer Andrew Jones, after sleeping with his wife Rhianon.
It took months of investigation for police to gather enough evidence to convict Jones, after he became the prime suspect due to CCTV footage.
Mr O’Leary was reported missing by his family after he disappeared in January 2020.
His family received a text that said ‘I’m so sorry x’. They thought the message was unusual and sounded out-of-character.
Police tracked the businessman’s work phone to the derelict Cyncoed Farm – owned by Jones – and began the search for Mr O’Leary’s body.
A sniffer dog discovered two shirt buttons in gravel with traces of blood on them.
Jones admitted meeting with his friend on the night he went missing and was the last person known to have seen him.
But police were unable to confirm that Mike O’Leary was dead and were not able to charge Jones with murder.
CCTV footage of Jones driving Mr O’Leary’s truck, coupled with more video of a cyclist returning from the farm, was enough to charge Jones.
An intensive investigation – hampered by the Covid pandemic – then uncovered parts of Mr O’Leary’s small intestine in a barrel on the farm, near the remains of a fire.
Jones had lured his old friend to his derelict farm by pretending to be his wife, Rhianon, with whom Mr O’Leary was conducting an affair.
The disgruntled farmer used a secret mobile phone his wife had been using to contact Mr O’Leary.
He greeted Mr O’Leary with a .22 Colt rifle before using a digger to move his body, which he burnt in a pile of wooden pallets.
The bonfire lasted for more than four-and-a-half hours and Jones admitted using electric burners to speed up the process.
He texted Mr O’Leary’s family in an attempt to make it look like the businessman had taken his own life.
Jones was sentenced to at least thirty years at Swansea Crown Court.
Judge Mrs Justice Nerys Jefford said Jones planned the murder in a ‘calm, calculated and effective’ manner and, by getting rid of the body, deprived the O’Leary family of having a funeral for the much-loved husband, father and grandfather.
Joy Morgan – Midwife-to-be murdered and dumped in the woods by obsessive stalker
Joy Morgan’s body was found in October 2019 – 10 months after she disappeared after going to church in Ilford on Boxing Day. A coroner said no cause of death could be given
Israel, who was married to another woman when he murdered Joy, was branded ‘cruel and cowardly,’ by a judge as he was jailed for a minimum of 17 years in prison
Joy Morgan was last seen on Boxing Day in 2018 before her mother reported her missing in February 2019.
The midwifery student at the University of Hertfordshire was a mainstay of the congregation at Israel United in Christ Church in Ilford, east London.
She had been to a party at the church, where she ran into her murderer, Shofah-El Israel.
In 2018 he had sent her messages calling her ‘an amazing princess’ and ‘a treasure that cannot be measured.’
Joy was captured on video dancing joyously at the party where Shofah-El Israel was also present.
At the end of the night she was seen getting into his car. The following day she was in contact with some university friends via WhatsApp discussing coursework.
After that she was never heard from again.
Based on phone data and ANPR evidence, Israel was convicted of her murder and sentenced to at least 17 years in prison.
He refused to tell police where they could find her body.
Joy’s body was found in October 2019 by a dogwalker in a wood near Stevenage. Her body was wrapped in black plastic bin liners and gaffer tape and was badly decomposed.
Traces of MDMA were found in her system but it wasn’t possible to determine the cause of her death due to decomposition.
Janice Wood – murder case solved by liver found in a Ford Sierra
Janice Wood disappeared without a trace on August 22, 1994, despite arranging to meet a friend in a Bradford pub.
Michael Sagar – who was on bail from an earlier incident where he’d threatened her with a shotgun – was an immediate suspected.
But without a body, police were struggling to pin the murder on Sagar.
A breakthrough came when Home Office pathologist Professor Michael Green examined Sagar’s Ford Sierra, which had been found at a nearby scrapyard.
Professor Michael Green examined Sagar’s Ford Sierra and found blood and part of a human liver
He found blood and part of a human liver. The Professor used DNA from a cervical smear test to confirm that the blood was Mrs Wood’s.
Sagar was sentenced to life in prison in 1995.
Mrs Wood’s mother made several appeals to Sagar to reveal the location of her daughter’s body but he has never disclosed her whereabouts.
Laura May al Shatanawi – killed by doctor husband in allotment shed
Laura May al-Shatanawi lived with her husband, Hassan al-Shatanawi, and their seven-year-old son before she was murdered by Hassan
Her case was solved when a workman that Hassan had paid to destroy his allotment shed realised it had been the murder location (police search Seaton Carew Golf Course)
Laura May al Shatanawi went missing in July 1993 from her home in Hartlepool, where she lived with her husband and their seven-year-old son.
Her husband, Hassan, a property developer and former GP in Egypt, waited a month before reporting her absence but appeared to be very worried.
The couple had married after Hassan advertised in a lonely hearts column for an ‘English Princess’.
It emerged at his trial a year later that his concerned husband act had been undermined by a canny workman.
Freed: Doctor Hassan Shatanawi, pictured in 1994 after being convicted of the murder of his wife, Laura May, was released from jail in 2013 and deported to Jordan
Noticing that the allotment shed he’d been paid £10 to destroy was almost new, the workman sold it rather than burning it.
When he saw Hassan al Shatanawi on television appeals he realised that the shed must have been the location of the murder and called the police.
The police tracked down the shed, which had obvious gouging marks, and found Laura May’s hair and blood.
The love-cheat is believed to have dismembered her at his allotment in Seaton Carew. Despite searches, her body was not found.
Hassan was jailed in 1994 but maintained his innocence. He was released in 2013 and deported to his native Jordan, despite the protestations of Laura May’s family.
Helen McCourt – murder that inspired law to stop murderers hiding victims’ bodies
Helen McCourt, 22, vanished on her way home from work in 1988. Her killer refused to tell her family where her body was before he died in June 2022
The 22-year-old vanished on her way home from work as an insurance clerk in St Helen’s, Merseyside, in 1988.
She got off the bus less than 500 yards from her house but didn’t make it inside.
Pub landlord Ian Simms, was jailed for life in 1989 for Helen McCourt’s murder in the face of overwhelming DNA evidence.
Ms McCourt had repeatedly rejected his sexual advances and knew about the then 31-year-old’s affair.
It was one of the first times fingerprint evidence secured a murder conviction in the UK.
He died in June 2022 having steadfastly refused to say where or how he had disposed of Ms McCourt’s body.
Helen’s murder and her mother, Marie McCourt’s activism, inspired a law change which was enacted in 2021.
Helen’s Law, or the Prisoners (Disclosure of Information About Victims) Act, makes it more difficult for murderers and rapists to receive parole if they hold back information about their victims.
Marie McCourt said that the death of Simms in 2022 was ‘the best news I’ve had’. She was awarded an MBE in December 2022 for her tireless campaigning.
Monica Taylor – mother-of-three killed by angry husband, who tried to do the same to his son-in-law
The true crime case was made into a documentary by Channel 5. The hotelier Peter Taylor had killed his wife after a hitman refused
Taylor was caught when he tried to hire hit men to kill his son-in-law
Monica Taylor, who ran holiday lets with her husband, Peter Taylor, was last seen in April 1982.
Peter Taylor, who had married Monica in 1948 but who he was trying to divorce, had tried to hire a hit man, Louis Matthews, to kill his wife for £500.
Matthews, a convicted burglar, refused, and Peter Taylor took matters into his own hands.
Although police had always been suspicious, the murder was not uncovered until Peter Taylor, alongside his daughter Susan Smith, tried to hire two other hit men in 1991.
Smith and Taylor spoke to two men, Derek and Martin, to plot the murder of the television producer’s husband. Unbeknownst to them, the ‘hit men’ were undercover police officers.
Taylor paid £1,000 of the £2,000 agreed for the murder and it was arranged that Mr Smith should be killed while walking his dog near his country home at Dousland, near Tavistock, Devon.
Taylor was arrested with his daughter. He admitted it was not the first time he had tried to hire a hitman.
Taylor was sentenced to life imprisonment while Smith was made the subject of a hospital order.
A hearing was told Smith, who had eight-year-old twins, was psychologically terrorised by her husband.
At the time she was going through divorce proceedings but living in the same house as her husband. She told police: ‘It was him or me.’
The murder was eventually made into a true crime series, ‘Murder By The Sea’.
Malika Maria de Fernandez -murder solved by 1,200-year-old body in Lindow bog
Malika Maria de Fernandez, a portrait artist who loved to travel, was murdered in the early 1960s after trying to extort money from her husband
It took more than 20 years for Reyn-Bardt to be convicted of the murder of his estranged wife after he killed her for threatening to reveal that he was gay
Malika Maria de Fernandez, a well-travelled portrait artist, had married husband Peter Reyn-Bardt after a whirlwhind courtship in 1959.
But the marriage was not successful and a few months later Ms Fernandez left. Reyn-Bardt settled down in a cottage with a male lover.
In either 1960 or 1961 Ms Fernandez returned, threatening to out Reyn-Bardt as a homosexual man and demanding money.
It was illegal to be gay in the UK before 1967 and there were several high-profile cases of men being prosecuted.
Peter Reyn-Bardt and Malika Fernandez married after just four days but their marriage soured months later
Reyn-Bardt killed his estranged wife and hid her remains in a peat bog near Wilmslow
He killed her and dismembered her remains with an axe and tried to burn her corpse. When that failed to dispose of the body, he threw her in the Lindow bog, on the outskirts of Wilmslow.
A body was found by industrialists in the bog in May 1983 and police extracted a full confession from Reyn-Bardt.
In an unimaginable twist, radiocarbon dating done at Oxford University revealed that the body found in the bog was not Ms Fernandez but was instead more than 1,200 years old.
But this did not stop the murder conviction as Reyn-Bardt had confessed.
Reyn-Bardt tried to argue that he had only committed manslaughter but was convicted of murder and was imprisoned for the rest of his life.
Keith Bennett – Moors murders victim whose mother died without finding her son’s body
Keith Bennett’s body has been missing ever since he was snatched and slain by notorious serial killers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley 59 years ago
Haunted: Keith’s mum Winnie, who died in 2012 without ever knowing where her son was buried. Pictured with the famous ‘missing’ poster of her son
Between July 1963 and October 1965, Brady and Hindley killed five children aged between 10 and 17 in a two-year killing spree which shocked the nation.
Brady and Hindley’s other victims were: Pauline Reade, 16, who disappeared on her way to a disco on July 12 1963; John Kilbride, 12, who was snatched in November the same year; Lesley Ann Downey, 10, who was lured away from a funfair on Boxing Day 1964; and Edward Evans, 17, who was axed to death in October 1965.
Keith Bennett was last seen by his mother in the early evening of June 16, 1964 after he left home in Eston Street, Longsight, Manchester, on his way to his grandmother’s house nearby.
Keith was murdered by Ian Brady (left) and Myra Hindley (right) in 1964. Brady and Hindley murdered five people in total. Three were later found buried on Saddleworth Moor. Keith’s body was never recovered
Forensics officers can be seen combing for clues on the rugged landscape on Saddleworth Moor in Oldham, Manchester in 2022
The murderous pair stopped the boy and, posing as a friendly couple, asked the child to help them load some boxes into a van.
They drove to a lay-by on the now infamous Saddleworth Moor and Brady took the child off to find a glove.
He returned 30 minutes later carrying a spade he had previously stashed on the moor and told Hindley that he had sexually assaulted and killed Keith.
It was sixteen months before the family were told he was a suspected victim of the moors murderers and Brady wouldn’t admit to his murder until more than two decades later.
Hindley died in jail in 2002 at the age of 60 and Brady died in a high-security hospital in 2017 aged 79.
The family of Moors murder victim Keith Bennett have hoped in vain that his body would finally be found Pictured: Brother Alan Bennett
Brady never revealed the location of Keith’s body and his mother Winnie died in 2012 without finding her son.
Nazi-obsessed Brady, who was officially diagnosed as a psychopath in 1985, taunted Keith’s brother Alan Bennett, now 66, in a sickening letter in 1991.
Brady insisted he would leave ‘special instructions’ of how to find the child’s remains in his will – but the clues never materialised.
Greater Manchester Police launched a new search in 2022 after new evidence came to light but Keith’s body was not found.
Olive Durand-Deacon – dissolved in an acid vat by serial killer
The serial killer, John George Haigh, also known as the Acid Bath Murderer, killed six victims and dissolved their bodies
Donald McSwan pictured with his mother, Amy, as a child. Haigh killed Donald and then his parents
Suffragette and widow of a war hero, Olive Durand-Deacon was a respectable lady in her sixties when she went missing in 1949.
She had made friends with a self-described inventor and civil engineer and was trying to convince him to produce and patent artificial fingernails.
But when she disappeared without a trace after a visit to his workshop in Crawley, friends and family raised the alarm.
Police were immediately suspicious of the suave John George Haigh – even though he had accompanied her best friend to the police station to report the missing person.
A policewoman found that he had sold Mrs Durand-Deacon’s jewellery and even had her fur coat cleaned.
Amy McSwan, who was one of Haigh’s victims. Haigh had lived with Amy and her husband, after killing their son
His murders were discovered after human gallstones and a set of false teeth belonging to his final victim, Olive Durand-Deacon
A search of his workshop found human gallstones and a set of false teeth, which was all that was left of Mrs Durand-Deacon.
He had shot the widow with a revolver he had stolen from a previous victim and then dissolved her body in a vat of acid.
Haigh even had time to pop to a local cafe for tea and a fried egg on toast before he disposed of her body.
The acidic sludge would then be poured down a drain or out in the workshop yard.
The serial killer would admit to the murders of five others, William, Donald and Amy McSwann and Archibald and Rosalie Henderson.
He said he disposed of all of his victims in the same way and claimed to have killed nine people, although he was convicted for the murders of six.
Haigh claimed he had murdered the victims because he had a thirst for blood, although this a jury rejected a plea of insanity.
There have been questions about how he funded his extravagant lifestyle.
Haigh was hanged in August 1949 but not before Madame Tussauds spent three hours making a life mask for his model.
Ever vain, he would have his hair cut in prison and only stopped receiving visitors when forced to wear prison clothes.