Norfolk police conduct fresh probe into missing people in county
PUBLISHED: 13:55 03 January 2012
Archant © 2008
We will not give up on tracing missing people - that was the message from a leading Norfolk detective who has been responsible for leading a review into more than 80 unsolved cases in the county.
Detective Inspector Andy Guy from Norfolk and Suffolk’s Major Investigation Team (MIT) is heading up the team of officers who are taking a fresh look at all Norfolk’s missing persons inquiries.
The painstaking process of re-examining these cases - some of which go back as far as the early 1960s - is part of a bid to end the pain and suffering of scores of families who are desperately hoping to be reunited with their loved ones - or at least be given the closure of finding out what has happened to them.
Det Insp Guy, a senior investigating officer with Norfolk police’s cold case team which was set up in 2008 to investigate murders, missing people and serious sexual offences which have not yet been resolved, said: “We’ve got missing people going back to 1963 in various guises and what we’ve done in Norfolk is a review of all missing people in the county who have been missing for more than two years.
“It has established who we’ve got missing and what reasonable steps we can take to trace them. We’ve traced three people already - one deceased - and two have been located safe and well. There’s about 80 in Norfolk (missing people cases) and about the same in Suffolk.”
Detectives have been working through the list of outstanding missing people in the county and have been prioritising those cases where there is a real likelihood of achieving a successful outcome.
Det Insp Guy, who said a similar re-investigation of missing people is being carried out in Suffolk, said: “We will do a re-investigation of each one and are working our way through that. It will involve getting familial DNA, carrying out any inquiries that we can do now that we couldn’t do 20 years ago.”
Some of those cases being looked at by the team include:
<t> Sheila Le Grys who went missing from North Walsham on December 7 1963. She would now be 74.
<t> Victor Lopez, a Uruguayan sailor who went missing on New Year’s Day in 1975 from his ship that was docked in South Quay, Great Yarmouth. He was last seen being chased by two men and never boarded his ship that day.
<t> Susan Murray, who was born in 1929, went missing on January 3 1980 from a woman’s refuge in Dersingham.
<t> Teresa Venetia Gathercole, was last seen walking down a road in Gorleston, near Yarmouth on January 30 1985. She would now be 41.
<t> Thomas Harwood, who would now be 65, went missing from Middleton, near King’s Lynn on December 28 1971. Mr Harwood, who suffered from depression was last seen at King’s Lynn railway station between Christmas and New Year 1971.
<t> Roy Lewis, who was born in 1927, went missing from Yarmouth on January 2 1973. He had a history of mental illness.
<t> Ernest Blake, went missing from Yarmouth on January 2 1991. He would now be 101.
News of the mammoth operation comes just after the Christmas and New Year period - traditionally a time when families come together to celebrate the festive season.
But for countless families in Norfolk this Christmas and New Year, like every other since their loved one disappeared, has been tinged with sadness and regret that they only have memories of those who are no longer present.
Det Insp Guy said the Christmas and New year period was a time which focused people’s hearts and minds on those family members who were no longer with them.
He said: “To that end if anyone has any knowledge of these people then please let us know and we will follow that up. We will always take on new information and examine what we’re being told.”
Anyone with information about missing people should contact Norfolk police on 101.
Norfolk’s missing people cold cases
The 13-year-old, who was born in Metton, Norfolk, left her home to visit her sister in Roughton at about 1.40pm on Tuesday, April 8 1969.
Just after 2pm, an employee at Harrison’s Farm saw April riding her cycle along Roughton Road, Metton in the direction of Roughton. This was the last known sighting of April whose bike was spotted lying in a field on the Metton to Roughton Road just a few hundred yards from where she was last seen.
The case is one of a number of investigations which has been looked at by Norfolk Constabulary’s cold case team, which was set up in August 2008 to investigate murders, missing people and serious sexual offences which have not yet been resolved.
At about 10pm on Tuesday, September 2 1969 Steven Paul Newing, age 11 was reported as a missing person from his home in Fakenham by his mother Jean Audrey Newing.
Steven was the eldest of four children, his mother had separated from Stevens’s father and was living with her partner. Steven had previously lived in other locations as his father was in the RAF, prior to his parents’ separation. There is no known reason as to why Steven would want to leave home or run away.
Pamela Exall disappeared on the evening of 27 August 1974 from Digleas Campsite, Snettisham. She was with her brother Peter and his friend.
Yvette was 17 years old when she disappeared from the David Rice Hospital in Hellesdon near Norwich on 30 March 1979. Yvette was at that time a voluntary patient and had been due to leave the hospital to go home on 2 April 1979. Yvette lived in Aldeburgh, Suffolk.
Yvette was described as being 5ft 6ins tall of slight build with short dark brown hair and a fair complexion. Apart from an unconfirmed sighting of Yvette in Bull Close Road, Norwich on 2 April 1979, no sign of Yvette has been reported since.
On Sunday, June 11 2000 28-year-old Kellie Pratt from Norwich went missing. She was last seen outside the Rose Inn public house, at the junction of Queen’s Road and City Road in Norwich, at 11:30pm. She has not been seen since.
Kellie was working in the red light area of Norwich when she vanished. She was seen talking on her mobile phone outside The Rose Inn. Minutes later two women were seen arguing in nearby Kensington Place - although it is not certain that Kellie was one of them.
Kellie was later reported missing by friends after she failed to meet them for a pre-arranged lift and neither she nor her Nokia 6100 phone have ever been found.
Seven-year-old Daniel disappeared from near his home at Copperfield Avenue, Great Yarmouth on Saturday 3 May 2003. His parents Paula and David Entwistle became concerned later that evening when he failed to return for tea and started to look for him, enlisting the assistance of friends and neighbours.
The father-of-two was last seen on the night of 1 and 2 March 2007 having spent the evening in The Locomotive pub in Wisbech.
He is known to have visited the local Tesco supermarket in Wisbech just before 1am and is then believed to have returned to his home address in Outwell.
Since that night there has been no significant information about what has happened to him. His disappearance is completely out of character.
If you have information about any of these cases call the cold case team on 01953 424520 or email email@example.com. Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.