Police are revisiting a 29-year-old case involving the disappearance of an 18-year-old mother at the time.
After receiving new information, police have focused their search on a stretch of canal, as explained in the video below:
[rumble video_id=v661sr domain_id=u7nb2]
Video credit: Rumble
Nicola Payne vanished in thick fog as she walked across the Black Pad in Coventry, West Midlands, at around lunchtime on December 14, 1991, on the way to visit her parents about a five-minute walk away. Before she went missing, she had left her seven-month-old son Owen with her boyfriend.
Despite searching numerous properties, the wasteland, and woodland, her body was never found.
But using the new information, specialist underwater search teams of the West Midlands Police are conducting a search along the canal between Coventry and Rugby. The police have declined to elaborate on the new information.
Detective Inspector Justin Mason-Spanner, from the 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.”
A £100,000($130,000) reward had been put up by an anonymous donor for any information that could shed light on what happened to Nicola.
Two 51-year-old men were acquitted of her murder in 2015 at Birmingham Crown Court.
In 2016, despite having received “credible” information, police and scientists scoured through the woodland at Coombe Country Park for weeks without finding any trace of Nicola’s body.
Investigative reporter Mark Williams-Thomas and forensic search specialist Peter Faulding agreed to help hunt for her for free in 2018 following a desperate appeal for help from her family.
At the time, Scott, 51, Nicola’s brother, said: “This is our last hope. The police have let us down so badly.”