Birmingham & Black Country

Timeline: Nicola Payne disappearance

Nicola Payne and her six-month-old baby Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Nicola Payne was last seen on 14 December 1991

Two men have been cleared of the murder of Nicola Payne nearly 24 years ago. The mother-of-one from Coventry, who was 18 at the time, went missing while walking to her parents' house. The case has remained open ever since - here are the key moments in the long-running investigation.

14 December 1991

While walking to her parents' house in Henley Green from the Winston Avenue home she shares with her boyfriend just half a mile away, Nicola goes missing.

December 1998

Her parents make a new appeal for information, although her mother says she is unlikely to be found alive.

March 2003

Police say the case will remain open until they find out what happened.

May 2005

A series of adverts are displayed on lorries in an appeal for information.

Image caption Nicola's parents Marilyn and John Payne have made several appeals for information

December 2005

The case features on The Missing, a television programme aimed at reuniting missing persons with their families.

August 2007

Nicola Payne's son Owen, now 16, makes a fresh appeal for information.

November 2007

A 37-year-old man is arrested on suspicion of abducting and murdering Nicola, although no charges are brought.

June 2008

Police dig up a garden at a house in Winston Avenue, although nothing is found.

December 2011

Police launch another appeal, 20 years after Nicola's disappearance.=.

Image caption The area known as the Black Pad where Nicola was last seen

June 2012

Police launch a search of parkland off Purcell Road after receiving new information. A day later, two men are arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to prevent the lawful and decent burial of a body. Nothing is found in the park and the men are later released without charge.

December 2012

Police make a fresh appeal to trace two men seen near where Nicola Payne went missing.

January 2013

Image copyright Adele Duncan
Image caption Friends said Nicola (far right) was described as a funny, lovely genuine girl

Officers say calls following the latest appeal have produced 25 new leads.

December 2013

New forensic tests are carried out on items recovered during the inquiry. Three people are arrested in connection with Nicola's disappearance.

February 2014

Police reveal they are carrying out a preliminary search of an area of land on a local nature reserve, off Dunrose Close in Binley.

January 2015

Two men are charged with Nicola's abduction and murder. Nigel Barwell and Thomas O'Reilly, both from Coventry, were originally arrested in December 2013. A 52-year-old woman who had been arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice is released without charge.

November 2015

Image copyright Helen Tipper
Image caption Nigel Barwell, left and Thomas O'Reilly have been cleared of murdering Nicola Payne

Mr Barwell and Mr O'Reilly are cleared of murdering Nicola by a jury at Birmingham Crown Court.

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