Family of Nicola Payne who disappeared 3 decades ago say her case is more relevant than ever

14 December 2021, 05:53

Family of Nicola Payne say her case is more relevant than ever with questions around women’s safety

By Lindsey Alder

After a year with women's safety in the headlines, the family of a Coventry teenager who disappeared in 1991 have told LBC her case is more relevant than ever.

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On 14th December 1991, 18-year-old Nicola Payne set off on a seven minute walk from her boyfriend's house to her parents' home across a deserted patch of land - and hasn't been seen since.

Police have always believed the mother of one was murdered that day and her body buried somewhere locally.

Despite 30 years passing, it's still not known exactly what happened to Nicola and with the 2021 deaths of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa, both killed whilst walking to or from their homes, her family say it shows that issues around women's safety is still an issue three decades on.

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Family of Nicola Payne on women's safety 30 years after her disappearance

In November 2015, two men were acquitted of killing Nicola after a trial at Birmingham Crown Court.

On the 30th anniversary, her family are again appealing for anyone with any information to come forward.

Her aunt, Melanie Eales, told LBC: "I think that's my sister's fear – to leave this world not knowing what happened to Nic. They just want to know, it would just give them some peace.

"At the beginning of every year, for the last 30 years, I've always thought maybe this is our year.

"Maybe somebody out there will be brave enough. Come forward, do it anonymously, just drop a note somewhere and say this is where she is.

"Just try and think how it must feel to not have your child and not know where they are."

A private company assisted in some searches for her remains in 2020 – but that had to go on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

LBC's been told though that searches will resume in 2022.

Specialist Group International Chief Executive Peter Faulding said: "We're planning further searches of a specific water source in the New Year.

"It'll be similar to what we conducted before but in a new location.

"We're piecing together the information that's coming in and the area is narrowing down so hopefully one day we'll find Nicola."