THE family of a mistaken-identity murder victim have offered a farmer £40,000 to allow them to dig the land where they believe she was buried.
Muriel McKay, the wife of a newspaper executive, was kidnapped and held for a £1million ransom in 1969 by a pair who believed she was Anna Murdoch – the then-wife of media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
Mrs McKay, 55, was married to Mr Murdoch’s deputy and fellow Australian Alick McKay.
After vanishing “from the face of the earth” her body was never found.
Nizamodeen Hosein, then aged 22, and his older brother Arthur were convicted of her murder and handed life prison sentences. Arthur died in jail in 2009.
But the surviving killer, now aged 75 and living in his native Trinidad – where he was deported after serving his sentence – contacted Mrs McKay’s daughter Dianne, 82, last November and offered to return to the UK to show her where he buried her
Mrs McKay’s family have hand-delivered a letter to the owner of the Hertfordshire farm where the killer said her body lies, offering £40,000 for permission to carry out a fresh dig.
The victim’s grandson Mark Dyer wrote: “The perpetrator has admitted his part in this crime after so many years and he genuinely wishes to help us find Muriel.”
“He has provided a written and sworn affidavit detailing the location of the burial site.”
“We now wish to search a small, targeted and specific area with minimal police attendance. That way there will be no unnecessary searching.”
“We agreed to a limited search previously and now the circumstances have changed as we have specific information as to the burial location from the person who actually dug the grave. As a family, we now offer you this sum for any inconvenience caused and any legal fees incurred. Please assist us as we need to have closure on this family tragedy.”
It is understood the letter was left at the landowner’s farmhouse after no one answered the door.
Mrs McKay’s daughter Dianne has spoken to Hosein by video call, revealing he was a “man of few words”. But she said: “It’s been very hard having so many years of nobody to talk to, no leads and no hope of ever finding her body.
“It was actually a relief to talk to him.”
In 2022, the landowner is understood to have agreed to allow Scotland Yard to dig an area of the land at his farm in Stocking Pelham, near Royston.
Detectives found nothing, but Mrs McKay’s family reportedly insisted they had looked in the wrong place.
A spokesman for the Met police said: “We understand how frustrating and difficult this matter has been for Muriel’s family and remain in contact with them.”
“An extensive search for Muriel’s remains was carried out in March 2022 at a farm in Hertfordshire, unfortunately it concluded with nothing found.
“At that time there was no legal power to apply for a search warrant in these circumstances and so the search took place with the consent of the landowner.”
“The investigation remains live and we continue to review and assess new information, keeping an open mind
to all available options to recover Muriel.”