Emmerdale’s Gabby Thomas was hauled in for questioning tonight as part of the ongoing Emma Barton murder inquiry – but suspicion has now fallen on stepmum Laurel whose guilty behaviour points to her being the new prime suspect.
After Gabby was grilled by determined DS Benton about her public beef with Mrs Barton in the lead-up to her death, it emerged the Thomas teen had kept hold of the incriminating memory card containing footage of her late father Ashley being tormented by the deceased.
While Bernice’s alibi for her daughter started to look a little on the shaky side as she stumbled over the details, the police eventually let Gabs go pending further questioning.
Returning to the village, Gabby confronted Laurel after finding a train ticket with a date that puts her stepmother in the area at the time of the murder, and not out of town visiting her sister as she first claimed.
Worried Laurel explained herself by spinning Gabby a sob story about how her troubled sibling Caroline needed her, so she never actually used the supposedly pre-bought ticket on the day in question.
But that was clearly a pack of lies as Ashley’s widow then made secret frantic phone calls to her sister begging her to ‘stick to the story’. Then things got really intriguing when Laurel summoned pal Bob Hope to the house for a private chat, and it became immediately clear the cafe worker was also complicit in her deceit.
Confessing to Bob how difficult she found the constant lying about the day Emma died, Laurel admitted the guilt was eating her up. Taking control, Mr Hope issued a stern warning to his friend telling her: “You’ve got to stick with what you told the police – because the alternative doesn’t bear thinking about…”
So far, Gabby had been the fans’ favourite within the line-up of seven suspects, but surely after tonight Laurel has overtaken her with her admission of guilt?
While the teenager can’t be completely eliminated, she did seem genuine in her denial to the cops and her family. As for Laurel, we have lots more questions. Where was she really when Emma died? Why does she feel so guilty about it? How come she has she roped her sister and Bob in? What could be so bad that she can’t share the truth with the police? If it’s not connected to Emma’s demise, is she guilty of another unrelated crime?
Perhaps all will become clear as we start to see flashbacks from the suspects from tomorrow night’s episode…
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Emmerdale below.
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