Fresh search for missing Coventry mother Nicola Payne gets underway

By Steve Carpenter 19/06 Updated: 19/06 13:32

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Teen Nicola Payne went missing in December 1991. Last year a new picture of how she might look now was released in the hope she may still be alive.

THE FAMILY of missing mother Nicola Payne have appealed for fresh information after police began searching an area of Parkland in Courthouse Green - 21 years after her disappearance.

Nicola was aged just 18 when she went missing from the Wood End area of the city on December 14 1991.

She had left her boyfriend's house in Winston Avenue to pick up some baby clothes for her seven-month-old son Owen but despite extensive enquiries, Nicola has not been seen or heard from since.

Police investigating her disappearance have today (Tuesday) cordoned off parkland just off Purcell Road after receiving fresh information into her disappearance which was deemed worthy of further research.

The initial searches will be made by Home Office scientists who will be using special ground x-ray and metal detection equipment.

They will be supported by a specially trained police dog and search officers from West Midlands Police Operational Support Unit (OSU) and a Forensic Scene Manager.

A statement issued on behalf of Nicola's family said: "Today demonstrates that there are people still providing vital and important information to the price around her disappearance.

"It has been nearly 21 years since our daughter Nicola went missing. For many years we have suffered not knowing what has happened to her.

"If there is anyone who has information that will assist the police around this new site or witnessed anything around this location back in December 1991 please make contact with the officers.

"We are appealing as a family to find Nicola and to give us the clue we deserve. We fully support West Midlands Police at this time."

Around 20 officers are believed to be involved with the search which is expected to last several days.

DCI Matt Markham, from Force CID, added: "The investigation into Nicola's disappearance has always remained open and any new information has been examined.

"We are today continuing to appeal for new information and would urge the local community to think back as to whether they saw anything suspicious on or around the 14 December 1991 either at this location or where Nicola was last sighted, near to the Black Pad in Wood End, to come forward if they have not previously done so."

Anyone with information should contact police at Coventry on 101and ask for Operation Blockley or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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