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Police search woodland for body of woman missing since 1991

Published 08/11/2016

Nicola Payne was last seen as she walked to her parents' home across waste ground in Coventry on December 14 1991 (West Midlands Police/PA)
Nicola Payne was last seen as she walked to her parents' home across waste ground in Coventry on December 14 1991 (West Midlands Police/PA)

Police investigating the disappearance of a young mother in 1991 are carrying out searches of woodland after receiving "credible" new information.

Nothing of relevance to the suspected abduction and murder of Nicola Payne has been found during several weeks of inquiries at Coventry's Coombe Country Park, West Midlands Police said.

A lake at the 500-acre site was searched by police in April last year as part of an investigation into Ms Payne's disappearance.

The ongoing police operation has been supported by scientists from various fields and has seen searches involving cadaver dogs.

Detective Chief Inspector Martin Slevin, who is leading the inquiry, said: "These searches come after we received credible evidence from an eyewitness concerning the sighting of two men in this area on the day Nicola disappeared.

"West Midlands Police is as committed as ever to finding Nicola's remains. We promised her family following the acquittal of two men last year that we would continue to investigate this crime and bring those responsible for her abduction and murder to justice.

"We will endeavour to bring them the closure they deserve.

"Although items of interest have been examined, nothing of relevance has been located to date."

Ms Payne's family has been kept fully updated throughout the latest searches.

Mr Slevin added: "December this year sees 25 years passing since Nicola disappeared but the information that brought us to this site demonstrates that there are still people out there with vital information that may assist.

"I would urge anyone who has yet to contact us to come forward and let us assess the value of the information you hold. It may be the piece of the jigsaw we are seeking."

Miss Payne, then aged 18, was last seen as she walked to her parents' home across waste ground in Wood End, Coventry, on December 14 1991.

Two men, both aged 51, were cleared of murdering her after a trial at Birmingham Crown Court last November.

Anyone with information should contact the investigation team on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Press Association

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