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Nicola Payne was 18 when she went missing from the Wood End area of Coventry in 1991 (West Midlands/PA)

Nicola Payne was 18 when she went missing from the Wood End area of Coventry in 1991 (West Midlands/PA)

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

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

Police in parkland off Purcell Road in Coventry search for teenager Nicola Payne, who went missing in 1991

Police in parkland off Purcell Road in Coventry search for teenager Nicola Payne, who went missing in 1991

Nicola Payne was 18 when she went missing from the Wood End area of Coventry in 1991 (West Midlands/PA)

Police investigating the disappearance of a teenager 21 years ago are to start searching parkland following new information about the case.

West Midlands Police said a number of specialist teams will begin to scour an area of cordoned-off parkland off Purcell Road in Coventry in connection with the disappearance of Nicola Payne.

She was 18 when she went missing from the Wood End area of the city on the afternoon on December 14 1991 on her way from her home in Winston Avenue to her parents' house. Despite extensive inquiries, she has not been seen since.

West Midlands Police said initial searches will be carried out on the area of parkland by scientists from the Home Office Centre for applied science and technology (Cast) using ground X-ray and metal detection equipment. They will be supported by a specially trained police dog, search officers from West Midlands Police Operational Support Unit (OSU) and a Forensic Scene Manager.

A large area of land behind flats in Purcell Road was cordoned off, and police said they were likely to be at the scene for two days. Officers were concentrating on a small wooded section of the field, cutting down branches and clearing overgrowth on the ground.

Detective Chief Inspector Matt Markham said: "Someone holds the information that is key to understanding what happened to Nicola. Over the past 21 years that person may have kept this information secret due to allegiances.

"Those allegiances may now have changed and we would urge you to consider the traumatic and painful years that Nicola's family have endured. Please allow us to give them the closure they deserve and come forward with that information."

Locals said the trees where police were searching were just small saplings at the time of Miss Payne's disappearance.

Anyone with information should contact police at Coventry on 101 and ask for Operation Blockley, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

PA