Police hunt 1991 murder suspect

A 49-year-old man is being hunted by police after failing to answer bail in connection with the disappearance of a young mother more than 20 years ago.

Nicola Payne went missing in 1991, leaving behind a baby son
Nicola Payne went missing in 1991, leaving behind a baby son

The man, whom West Midlands Police are not naming, was arrested in December on suspicion of abduction and murder by detectives investigating the disappearance of Nicola Payne in Coventry in 1991.

A force spokesman said: "Police in Coventry are actively seeking a man after he failed to answer his bail yesterday."

A West Midlands Police spokesman said the investigation into the missing 18-year-old mother of one was "dynamic" and continuing.

Another 49-year-old man arrested in the city in December did answer his bail and has since been re-bailed to a later date.

A 51-year-old woman detained at the same time on suspicion of perverting the course of justice also remains on bail.

Earlier this week, a specialist police team concluded a search in the city's Coombe Abbey country park.

Detectives said the search uncovered "items of interest" which had been removed for forensic analysis but would not say what those items were.

At the end of last month, officers also arrested a man aged 49 and a 47-year-old woman in the Coventry area, who have since been bailed.

Earlier that month, officers searched a nature reserve in the Binley area of the city.

The investigation was launched after Ms Payne left her boyfriend's house to make the short journey to her parents' home in the city.

She was never seen or heard from again, leaving behind a baby son.

A £10,000 reward for information leading to the whereabouts of Ms Payne remains in place.