Coventry & Warwickshire

Nicola Payne death: Two charged with 1991 murder and abduction

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 charged with abducting and murdering 18-year-old Nicola Payne who went missing 23 years ago, police said.

Nigel Barwell, 51, from Copperas Street, Coventry, and Thomas O'Reilly, 50, from Ribble Road, Coventry, have been remanded in custody.

Both men were originally arrested in December 2013 over Ms Payne's disappearance on December 14, 1991.

They are due before Birmingham Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.

A 52-year-old woman who was arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice has been released without charge.

Parents' appeals

Ms Payne, who had a seven-month-son, went missing after she walked from her boyfriend's address to her parents' house. Her father has said the walk should only have taken about six minutes.

Ms Payne's body has never been found.

In the years since she went missing, her parents John and Marilyn Payne have made appeals for information to trace their daughter.

The investigation was re-opened in 2012 when new information came to light.

Det Insp Martin Slevin, said: "Today's charges follow months of extensive inquiries by a team of dedicated officers who are investigating the disappearance of Nicola.

"But, I want to reassure Nicola's family and the local community that the search for Nicola will continue."

Police said Ms Payne's family were aware of the latest developments and were working closely with specially trained family liaison officers.

Over the past year a number of sites have been searched and these investigations would carry on, Det Insp Slevin said.

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