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The others have since been released without charge. And he expressed his determination to produce sufficient evidence to trap Kate Prout's killer - even if her remains are never found. He may have alluded to the fact that his wife had left home before. Perhaps a police source was alluding to this hoped-for financial settlement when he told me: "There are certain motivators that would have made it far more attractive for Kate to stay put. I'm sick and tired of people saying I was. With a plant sale and 'family fun day' due to be staged in the village hall, and the local cricket team playing a key home fixture, there is plenty of entertainment on offer today in the village of Redmarley D'Abitot.
Moreover, on November 6, when she had been missing for about 24 hours and one would have expected any husband to be frantic with worry, he calmly hosted a pheasant shoot at Redhill Farm. Sex at bed inr Redmarley DAbitot years ago, a Wiltshire man named Glyn Razzell was jailed for life for the abduction and murder of his wife Linda, even though she was never found.
Soon afterwards, helicopters whirred over Redmarley and officers began raking the muck-piles with wooden sticks. The couple took over Redhill Farm, with its acres of land, and presented a picture of marital harmony. So what do we know about Adrian and Kate Prout?
Mr Prout, who was divorced from his first wife Lyn by whom he has an year-old daughteris also from old Gloucestershire stock. But why were they splitting up? If she really had walked out on her husband without warning, for example, why hadn't she taken anything with her: clothes, keys, passport or personal possessions?
For in recent days, the residents of Redmarley parish have received a compelling letter, written by Acting Detective Superintendent Neil Kelly of the county constabulary. All DS Kelly will say is this: "Normally, you would imagine if someone's wife goes missing, a report would follow soon after. Earlier this year, her husband and three others - including a year-old woman named Diane Bellamy who was reported to have been Mr Prout's girlfriend a claim she hotly denies - were arrested on suspicion of the killing.
There is concern among villagers that police are focusing their attentions too narrowly on one line of inquiry.
The real midsomer murders? the true story of how a farmer's wife disappeared into thin air
After marrying in Septemberthey set up home in Frampton-on-Severn before buying the Redmarley farm. As to whether it really was a 'true love' match is another matter - and one which greatly interests the police. She ed various committees, arranged flowers at church and achieved a local celebrity status by petitioning the Prime Minister about low milk prices that were driving dairy farmers out of business. More sophisticated methods were also used to the comb the rolling farm and dredge the ponds - but no clue to the whereabouts of Mrs Prout, who was last seen wearing jeans and a casual black V-necked top, has ever been found.
While Mr Prout often worked away on contracts and kept himself to himself, Kate took an active part in village life. However, the plot unfolding behind the impenetrably tall hedgerows of Redmarley D'Abitot is more intriguing. Vanished: Kate Prout has been missing for six months after she disappeared on Bonfire night last year.
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At the pub this week, no one would shed any light on this alleged altercation - though Kate's 'missing' poster is pinned to the bar, where Adrian often nurses his pint. She would have claimed an equal split of their cash assets, although these were relatively modest. A strikingly attractive and stylish brunette who looked at least a decade younger than her 55 years, Mrs Prout - Kate to everyone who knew her - was a relative newcomer in the close-knit community.
He has earned a reputation for solving difficult cases and remains confident that he will solve this one. She had a penchant for changing her hair colour - from strawberry-blonde to red, and more latterly chestnut - and was more fashion-conscious than most women in Redmarley.
They were very close. However, when both attended a charity auction, one woman notes, they seemed to get along well. Any death is tragic, but at least if you know what has happened, you can start to remember the good things and close the book. Under questioning, Mr Prout is said to have proffered his own explanation, though police decline to reveal its nature.
But it will surely take all the tenacity of his fictional alter ego, detective Tom Barnaby, to bring this tragically real Midsomer Murder investigation to a satisfactory conclusion. But then, on Bonfire Night last year, as the rest of the village prepared the fireworks and homebaked confectionery, Kate Prout vanished without trace. Meanwhile, at Redhill Farm, Adrian Prout had been staging the pheasant shoot.
Last week, an unnamed police source reportedly went further. His silence has not stopped villagers in Redmarley from offering a friendly wave as he passes by, perched on a tractor, but it is hardly helping to ease the agony of his wife's waiting relatives, who have had no contact with him for months.
The one over-arching question is why on earth her husband waited for five days before raising the alarm? No comments have so far been submitted. Born into a big Gloucestershire farming family, Kathleen Wakefield, as she then was, had brains and a creative touch to match her good looks.
Indeed, given the setting - a timelessly insular English village of half-timbered cottages, tea parties and fetes - it could have been a plot straight out of TV's Midsomer Murders, though even the redoubtable TV detective Tom Barnaby might struggle to plumb its depths. They chatted on the phone almost every day, and spoke on Monday afternoon, November 5. For many years she worked as a teacher, and in her leisure time she loved to sketch animals, arrange flowers, turn pottery, cook and garden.
She says her contact with Mr Prout came when she looked after Redhill Farm on two occasions before his wife went missing.
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The following day, when Kate didn't phone, the Wakefields became concerned, and by the Wednesday they were leaving worried messages on her mobile phone, which was switched on but diverted to the answering service. In this case it was five days after. Soon after moving to Redmarley, Kate told a neighbour as they chatted over the garden fence: "I've found love at Before then, says her older brother Richard Wakefield, she had been out with several boyfriends and "could have had any chap", but she had "never found Mr Right".
She arrived in November with her husband, Adrian Prout, a balding but ruggedly handsome man, now 45 years old, who was ten years her junior. Instead, for the past six months he has resolutely gone about his business without uttering one word in his defence. And since she has not withdrawn any cash from the bank or used her credit cards, how could she be paying her way? When Mr Prout held pheasant shoots for wealthy shire folk, his wife would do the catering; while he oversaw the heavy farmwork, she attended to the books.
I'll invite you to draw your own conclusion.
She also had a keen eye for interior decoration. In the face of such pointed comments, one might have expected Mr Prout - a reputable businessman with a blameless reputation and no police record - to speak out in his own defence. We had a laugh and a joke. Mr Prout was also reported in a local newspaper to have formed a relationship with Diane Bellamy soon after Kate's disappearance - a story police have not denied. It happened inwhen the couple rowed and she went to stay with the Wakefields.
Since splitting up with her farmer husband Tim, Mrs Bellamy has worked as a house-sitter, minding properties when the residents are away. During the mid-Nineties she took early retirement, and not long afterwards she fell for Adrian Prout, who was friendly with another of her brothers. Linda says they drifted apart, adding that Kate was undaunted by the prospect of being single.
Quite so. However, Mr Prout remains on police bail, which has been extended until September 9, and DS Kelly says he is the "chief suspect".
She and her husband were rarely seen out together. Local gossips suggest Kate might have embarked on a new life, perhaps with a wealthy secret boyfriend.
Ordinarily, of course, the disappearance of a middle-aged woman - however sudden and unexpected - would be of little more than passing interest to the police. Unbeknown to many villagers, however, during the months leading up to Kate's disappearance, the Prouts were planning to divorce.
While Adrian Prout appears taciturn, villager Rosemary Baynham described his wife as "feisty and attractive", and said she had a reputation for "being argumentative".
I should never have been arrested because I've done nothing wrong. Kate was always a very positive person and that afternoon she was just the same. Even if this scenic Gloucestershire parish sees a return to the glorious sunshine which bathed its fields earlier this week, however, attendances at these quintessentially English events are likely to be rather disappointing. However, speaking this week, Mrs Bellamy - who was arrested in February along with two men aged 43 and 45, but is no longer on police bail - categorically denied ever having an affair with Mr Prout. Could she really have staged her own disappearance - as half the villagers believe?
Or are these optimistic folk harking back to a time - illusory, perhaps - when the villages of England were bastions of innocence? Under the stark heading 'Murder of Kathleen Prout', the senior crime investigator warns the villagers to expect a knock on the door this weekend from officers probing the mysterious disappearance of a local farmer's wife, and urges them to assist in any way possible.
Hundreds of people choose to leave home without warning every year and, distressing as this is for their families, unless there is evidence of wrongdoing, the resources can't be spared to hunt for them. Razell, 49, maintains his innocence and claims his wife may be in hiding - having concocted an elaborate plan to set him up. By some s, both Kate and her new husband were prone to ill-temper, particularly when anyone walked on the ramblers' paths weaving through their land.
And with his inquiries gathering pace this weekend, Neil Kelly is determined to establish the truth. It boasts a swimming pool, two fishing ponds and the pheasant shoot.
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It was not until Saturday, November 10, at his brother-in-law's behest, that he called the police. Instead of calling the police immediately after discovering that Kate had gone, he waited for five days before alerting them. It was just not in her interests to disappear. Linda was the last known person to speak to Kate. This accrued evidence, together with other information which they refuse to disclose, has led the police to conclude - with as much certainty as possible given the baffling nature of the case - that Kate Prout has been murdered.