Suspected murder victim had 'heart of gold' and 'loved life'

Tributes to Patricia Holland

Kirsty Page and Jackie Chapman both knew Patricia Holland from Gorleston Baptist Church. - Credit: Liz Coates

A suspected murder victim had a "heart of gold," it has been claimed as police continue to search for her whereabouts.

Friends of Patricia Holland, 83, who was last seen near her home in Lowestoft Road, Gorleston, on Saturday night, said that as well as being kind and caring she had a straight talking streak and called a spade a spade.

Patricia Holland, 83, was last seen at her home in Lowestoft Road, Gorleston, at around 9.20pm on Saturday, July 24.

Patricia Holland, 83, was last seen at her home in Lowestoft Road, Gorleston, at around 9.20pm on Saturday, July 24. - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

Police confirmed on Tuesday a man in his 40s had been arrested on suspicion of her murder, but that she was still missing.

Kirsty Page, a food bank volunteer at Gorleston Baptist Church, said Mrs Holland visited three times a week, for a sit down meal before Covid continuing to pop in and pick up supplies during the pandemic for herself and her lodger, understood to be a homeless man she had taken in.

She said the whole church community was in shock and that Mrs Holland was "well-loved."

Miss Page, 39, described her as a sociable woman who loved to talk and had strong opinions. As well as keeping up with the news she was an animal lover who had named and was able to recognise several of the gulls that lived around The Feathers pub.

She was also well known in the library and at Morrisons supermarket, she said.

Tributes to Patricia Holland Gorleston

Kirsty Page, a volunteer at the Baptist Church in Gorleston said Patricia Holland was 'like a nanny' to her. - Credit: Liz Coates

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As well as using the Baptist Church food bank where she enjoyed friendship and a cuppa, she was also part of the social scene at St Andrews Church and at The Bridge at the Methodist Church on Magdalen Square.

"She used to come down for breakfast," she said. "She was happy go lucky and had a heart of gold. She was helpful to everyone and helped the homeless too. I am so shocked, I cannot believe what has happened. She was like a nanny to me.

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"The last time I saw her was on Thursday and she was laughing and joking. She was very opinionated and straight talking. She loved life."

Tributes to Patricia Page

Jackie Chapman said Patricia Holland loved feeding the birds and talking about her grandchildren. - Credit: Liz Coates

Fellow food bank user Jackie Chapman described her as "very talkative" especially when it came to her grandchildren. An animal lover she enjoyed feeding the birds at home, she added.

Janet Upton, church warden at St Mary Magdalene Church, said: "She was one of our regular guests and a well-loved member of The Bridge community.

Patricia Holland murder probe Gorleston

Police were seen searching undergrowth in the area around Patricia Holland's home in Lowestoft Road. - Credit: Liz Coates

Normally, Mrs Holland would have made her way there on a Tuesday. Instead the police were at the food and social hub talking to people about her life.

She said volunteers had shared their shock, saying Mrs Holland was "very friendly and liked to talk." 

police search Gorleston

Police teams searching undergrowth in the Lowestoft Road area of Gorleston, where the footbridges span the inner relief road. - Credit: Liz Coates

She added that prayers would have been said for her ahead of today's lunch.

On Tuesday officers were searching undergrowth.

Missing Gorleston woman Lowestoft Road

A large police presence in Lowestoft Road, Gorleston, following a missing person's appeal for Patricia Holland, 83. - Credit: Liz Coates

Meanwhile, nearby neighbours in Lowestoft Road said she was always cheerful and stopped for a chat. She had lived in the detached house for at least 20 years, and had a habit of walking in the middle of the quiet road, which is stopped up at one end, with her frame.

The search for Mrs Holland goes on and any witnesses, or anyone with information, dash cam or ring doorbell footage in relation to this incident, is asked to contact Norfolk Police on 101 quoting Operation Aeroplane and crime reference number: 36/53382/21.

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