The real-life story of Mike O’Leary’s chilling disappearance and how police caught his killer

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Fans of true crime will be gripped to tonight’s ITV documentary No Body Recovered, as it delves deeper into the case of the mysterious disappearance of Welsh dad-of-three Mike O’Leary.

When Mike seemingly vanished into thin air on his way home from work in January 2020, a police investigation got underway to find him.

However, they instead discovered his family had received a very out of character text message from him, before tracking down Mike’s abandoned truck by a river four miles from his home in Camarthen, West Wales.

Soon, it tragically transpired that Mike had been brutally murdered – although a body was never found.

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Now, ITV’s opening the case file once more to give viewers exclusive access to the complicated police investigation that followed to find out what happened on that fateful night.

Using archive footage of interviews with the squad that worked on the case, as well as several family members, the one-off documentary will show the lengths they went to to seek justice for murder victim Mike.

Viewers will see how local builder Andrew Jones became a person of interest with the police almost immediately after it emerged Mike had been having an affair with his wife.

But with no body, it was an almost impossible task for the detectives to crack, so they dug deep to build a case against Andrew.

The team worked together by scouring through CCTV footage, looking at mobile phone data and analysing forensic evidence to get their answers.

A huge breakthrough came when they discovered that the last sighting of Mike alive and well had been at Andrew’s derelict farm.

After conducting a thorough search of the property and land, police eventually found some shirt buttons, which contained a tiny trace of blood that was invisible to the naked eye. DNA analysis on the blood proved it was a match to Mike’s.

Backed into a corner, Andrew admitted that he had met with Mike on the night in question and was the last person to have seen him.

It was then that the most crucial part of the investigation began, as the detectives raced against time to charge the man they thought had committed the crime.

Inspector Llyr Williams, who worked on the case, explains: “We could only hold Andrew for 96 hours.”

“The first bit of an investigation is obviously intense when you’ve got a collapsing timeframe, a pace custody clock. A lot of staff members on the team were working on adrenaline having worked long hours to achieve the level of evidence we needed to secure a charge.”

“I think the driving focus for everybody is to obtain justice for the family and get answers.”

However, without the body as evidence, it was hard to prove that Mike was dead, so the team put their heads together once more and found CCTV footage of Mike’s truck being driven to the riverside, which mobile phone data suggests belonged to Andrew.

Further evidence came when they found yet more CCTV footage of a cyclist returning from the area a short time later – a man they believed to be Andrew.

Chief Inspector Paul Jones, the senior investigating officer, explained how this changed everything in their investigation.

He explains: “We literally had minutes left on the custody clock when the call came through say yes, charge with murder.”

But, as the case went through the court system and Andrew was sentenced, there was still no sign of Mike’s body – something his family desperately wanted so that they could get the answers they needed.

Mike’s son Wayne O'Leary says: “We still don’t know what’s happened that evening. You know, Andrew’s story, he’s just been telling lies from the start. I don’t think we’ll ever find out.”

For more TV stories and news, sign up to OK! newsletters here. No Body Recovered airs tonight at 9pm on ITV

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