Detectives search canal in bid to locate remains of mother missing since 1991

Detectives have begun searching a canal in a bid to locate the body of a young mother who disappeared in Coventry almost 30 years ago.

Nicola Payne, then aged 18, was last seen walking to her parents’ home across waste ground in the Wood End area of the city on December 14 1991.

West Midlands Police said they are acting on “new information” and are working closely with a specialist underwater search team to find Nicola’s body.

The latest in a series of searches is currently taking place at an area of a canal between Coventry and Rugby.

Nicola Payne
Nicola Payne disappeared almost 30 years ago (West Midlands Police/PA)

A £100,000 reward has been offered since 2018 for information leading to the recovery of Nicola’s body.

Detective Inspector Justin Mason-Spanner from the force’s homicide team said: “We are as committed as ever to finding Nicola’s remains, allowing her family to lay her to rest and to achieving justice for her family and the community.

“We recently received new information which has led to this search that will last a few days. Nicola’s family has been kept fully informed.

“We still believe there may be people out there who hold information about what happened in 1991 and I urge anyone who has not previously contacted us with information to contact us.

“It could make all the difference and could finally bring Nicola’s family the closure they deserve.”

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