Nicola Payne: Vigil to be held to mark 30th anniversary of young mum's disappearance

A VIGIL is to be held to remember Nicola Payne on the 30th anniversary of the young mum’s disappearance.

Nicola was just 18 when she vanished in broad daylight as she walked home from her boyfriend’s house in Coventry.


Despite huge police hunts, multiple arrests and a court case, no trace of her has been found.

It’s almost certain she was abducted, killed and her body dumped in a lake or canal near to where she went missing.

Nicola's heartbroken family and friends are to hold a candle-lit vigil in her honour near a patch of land known as the Black Pad, which she was crossing when she vanished.

Her family say they accept she’s is no longer alive but are still desperate to know what happened.

"We're not chasing to point blame, we're not chasing to put people in prison – all we want is my sister home so my mum and dad can bury her and have a place to go and grieve," said her brother, Nigel Payne.

Nicola set off to walk the short distance to her family home in the Potters Green area of Coventry around midday on December 14.

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Filled with excitement about her first Christmas as a mother to seven-month-old Owen, she waved goodbye to her partner Jason Cooke, her son's dad.

Despite excavations and searches of gardens, land, a canal and a lake in the Coventry area between 1996 and 2014 no trace of her has been found.

Nicola’s parents Marilyn and John – now in their 70s and in poor health – have passed the baton to sons Scott, 54, and Nigel, 57, and to Nicola’s cousin Amanda Eales, 40.

The search for what happened to Nicola has been given fresh impetus with a £100,000 reward from an anonymous donor.

An investigation team fronted by former detective and TV presenter Mark Williams-Thomas and forensic search expert Peter Faulding have given her family hope that Nicola may finally be found.

Several arrests have been made over the years but a bungled police investigation and a 2015 court case resulted in two suspects being acquitted.

She completely adored her son – and everyone who knew her loved her

Amanda recently told The Sun that Nicola was “the big sister I never had”.

“I was eight years younger than Nicky, and I really looked up to her,” she said.

“She had everything to live for. She completely adored her son – and everyone who knew her loved her.

“Everyone’s life took a different turn the day she disappeared, and we are still here, 30 years later, trying to find answers.

“We are a big family and there is always a birthday or anniversary to celebrate. There is always an empty space where Nicola should be.”

Anyone with information about Nicola’s disappearance can contact West Midlands Police on 101 or via its Live Chat at west-midlands.police.uk between 8am and midnight.

Alternatively they can call Crimestoppers confidentially on 0800 555 111 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org.



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