Pensioners arrested over suspected murder of woman missing for 30 years

Updated: 

Two pensioners have been arrested by detectives investigating the disappearance of a woman more than 30 years ago.

West Yorkshire Police said a 75-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of Harbans Kaur Lally, who was last seen in Leeds in 1985.

Officers from the force's Homicide and Major Enquiry Team also arrested a 74-year-old woman on suspicion of conspiracy to murder when they searched an address in Gravesend, Kent, on Monday.

Both have been released on bail pending further inquiries.

A force spokesman said a 53-year-old man was also arrested on the same day from an address in the Hay Mills area of Birmingham on suspicion of perjury.

He has been released under investigation.

Mrs Lally, who was also known as Susan and had the maiden name Ranu, was 19 years old when she went missing.

She worked at the head office of the Burton Group in Harehills, Leeds, until April 1985 and gave birth to a daughter in July that year at St James's Hospital in Leeds when she was living at an address in the Meanwood area of the city, the spokesman said.

Officers said she was born in Rugby, Warwickshire, and grew up and went to school there. She married there in February 1984 and moved to Leeds some time later.

Police believe Mrs Lally, who was Sikh, returned to Rugby in 1985 and disappeared after that, possibly after travelling to India. As part of the investigation, detectives have also conducted house-to-house enquiries in Bennett Street, Rugby, where she and her family lived.

Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Bryar, of West Yorkshire Police, said: "We have recently received information that raises concerns about Harbans's apparent disappearance, which we are now treating as a murder investigation.

"We are currently trying to build up a picture of her life at the time she disappeared and we are very keen to hear from anyone with any information that could assist us.

"We would like to speak to anyone who knew Harbans, who was also known as Susan, when she lived and worked in Leeds in 1984 to 1985, and also anyone who knew her when she was growing up in Rugby, either through school or in the area she lived. We are particularly interested to speak to anyone who knew her when she returned there in 1985.

"We would like to reassure people that we will treat all information in the strictest confidence and would urge anyone who does know something that could assist the investigation to contact us."

:: Anyone with information is asked to contact West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team via 101 quoting Operation Parryton or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.