THE family of murdered vet Catherine Gowing have thanked people from the region as they prepare to mark the first anniversary of her death.
They released a statement saying the “kindness and support” of individuals and organisations “will always be remembered”.
Catherine, who worked at Evans Veterinary Practice in Mold, was murdered by Clive Sharp after disappearing on October 12 last year.
Sharp was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 37 years.
The killer, who was the partner of Catherine’s housemate, Jane Doyle, raped the 37-year-old in her New Brighton home near Mold before killing her and dismembering her body.
The family statement read: “To those of you whom we have never met, you will never realise just how much your cards and letters of sympathy – that still continue to arrive – have meant to our family.
“Your prayers, kind thoughts and empathy continue to support us through our darkest of days.
“Since it would be impossible to thank everyone individually, we trust that this acknowledgement will be accepted by all as a sincere token of our appreciation.”
Catherine’s body was never fully recovered, but parts were found close to the River Dee.
Her funeral was held in January this year and more than 600 people attended the Requiem Mass in Kinnitty, County Offaly, including friends and colleagues from Flintshire.
The family said: “Sincere thanks to all her friends and colleagues who made the long journey to Ireland to attend the removal, Requiem Mass and Burial in Kinnitty, Co Offaly.
“To those who sent cards, letters of sympathy, verses, we wish to say a sincere thank you.
“You have no idea of how much this has supported and meant to our family.”
The family also thanked those who organised and attended a special memorial service held at Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Buckley in May.
“Sincere thanks to the choirs (the children’s choir from St David’s Catholic School in Mold & the adult choir),” the statement continued.
“To all who helped organise refreshments and music in the village hall afterwards, we extend our warm appreciation.
“A very special thank you to Esmor Evans and his daughter Nia and the veterinary practice in Mold for commemorating Catherine with a plaque.”
The family also reserved a special thank you to a number of individuals who had helped the family.
This included close friends Barbara Elder, Kate Kinread, Carole Davies, Fran Edwards and the Bankes family.
They also reserved special praise for North Wales Police, and specifically mentioned DCI Mark Pierce, DS Eleri Thomas, PS Neal Parkes, DC Barbara Johnson and DC Ian Jones.
Sharp had a long history of violent sexual offences against women.
He was given a three-year prison sentence in 1983 for holding a glass to the throat of a 15-year-old girl and raping her.
In 1994, Sharp was jailed for three years for a sex attack on a woman, and within months of his release, he was jailed for eight years for false imprisonment after tying up a woman and threatening her with a knife.