Coventry & Warwickshire

Missing Nicola Payne: Coombe Abbey Park search extended

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

Police investigating the disappearance of an 18-year-old woman 22 years ago have extended their search of a country park in Coventry.

Nicola Payne, the mother of a seven-month-old child when she went missing, was last seen on 14 December 1991 in the Henley Green area of the city.

West Midlands Police began the search of Coombe Abbey Country Park on Monday.

It said it had expanded the search area around a fishing lake after advice from forensic specialists.

Det Insp Martin Slevin said: "We have to conclude after 22 years and no positive sightings of Nicola we fear the worst that she is dead and I have to take that into account when setting up the search parameters.

"The intelligence we are working [with] on this site was so significant that we couldn't ignore it."

Mr Slevin said he expected the search to continue until Wednesday.

Three men and two women arrested in connection with the inquiry are all currently on police bail.

No-one has ever been charged over the disappearance of Ms Payne, who is believed to have been murdered.

A nature reserve in Binley was searched in February.

There is a £10,000 reward available for information leading to Ms Payne's whereabouts.

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