Pair held in missing woman probe

Pair held in missing woman probe

Police in parkland off Purcell Road, Coventry, continue their search for Nicola Payne, who went missing 21 years ago

Nicola Payne disappeared on December 14 1991 from the Wood End area of Coventry

First published in National News © by

Detectives investigating the disappearance a teenager 21 years ago have arrested a father and son in connection with the inquiry.

They have been named locally as 74-year-old Patrick Judge and his son Keith, aged 45.

West Midlands Police said the men were arrested in Coventry on suspicion of conspiracy to prevent the lawful and decent burial of a body.

Officers from the force searched parkland in the city for a second day after new information came to light about the disappearance of Nicola Payne, 18, who went missing in 1991.

Detectives cordoned off the patch of land behind flats on Purcell Road early yesterday.

A force spokesman said the initial search had "uncovered areas of interest" which would be further investigated by the 30 officers at the scene, using specialist technology including metal detectors and X-ray equipment.

Specially-trained police dogs from West Midlands Police and scientists from the Home Office centre for applied science and technology (Cast) were also involved in the large scale search.

Miss Payne went missing from the Wood End area of the city on the afternoon of December 14 1991 on her way from her home in Winston Avenue to her parent's house. Despite extensive inquiries, she has not been seen since.

Detective Chief Inspector Matt Markham said: "We are committed to investigating any new information with the aim of bringing closure to Nicola's family, who have endured a painful and traumatic 21 years since her disappearance."

In a statement released through police, Miss Payne's parents, John and Marilyn, said: "We have been kept fully informed by police of the actions at Purcell Road and we are aware of the timescales this may take."

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