Coventry & Warwickshire

Nicola Payne: Police end parkland search

Nicola Payne
Nicola Payne went missing on 14 December 1991

Police investigating the disappearance of a Coventry mother last seen 21 years ago have finished searching an area of parkland in the city.

Nicola Payne, 18, went missing from the Wood End area in December 1991.

Police cordoned off an area off Purcell Road on Tuesday after being given new information but it is understood no remains were found during the search.

Two men, aged 74 and 45, arrested in connection with the case have been released.

West Midlands Police said a 74-year-old man was released without charge and a 45-year-old man was bailed to an address outside the city pending further inquiries.

Both men were arrested on suspicion of conspiring to prevent the lawful burial of a body on Wednesday.

The search of the parkland involved specially-trained dogs and ground X-ray equipment.

An address in nearby Miles Meadow was also searched.

Det Sup Richard Baker said the investigation was "very much ongoing" despite officers concluding their latest searches.

'Determined to end mystery'

He said: "Thorough searches took place after new information came to light and obviously we acted on this.

"Over the last few days we have kept Nicola's family fully updated and we will continue to support them.

"I would also like to thank local people for their support over the last few days.

"We are absolutely determined to see an end to the mystery of what happened to Nicola and we know Nicola's family and the local community share our determination.

"This was not about raising false hope - we have a responsibility to investigate fresh lines of inquiry and will continue to assess and act on all information provided to us.

"I continue to appeal for anyone who may have information regarding Nicola's disappearance to come forward and contact us."

Miss Payne was last seen near to the Black Pad in Wood End on 14 December 1991. She had a six-month old son.

In 2007, a man was arrested in connection with her disappearance and released on bail.

No-one has been charged in connection with the case.

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