Friday, 24 March 2023, 11:24
A hopeful new lead has been discovered in the case of missing sailor Simon Parkes, who disappeared without trace on 12 December 1986, and it is thanks to a Gibraltar journalist.
Simon, 18, was on shore leave in Gibraltar when he was last seen, before his ship returned to the UK. He told his companions he was going to get something to eat and then head back to the ship, but never arrived. Although the authorities carried out detailed searches for him, his disappearance remained a mystery.
In December 1999, however, information came to light that raised the possibility that he had been killed by a former RN petty officer who confessed to two brutal murders of young men in 1997 and 1998, and on 12 December in each case. He had been in Gibraltar when Simon went missing.
Simon's parents have been desperate to keep the case alive and to know what happened to their son. The mystery aroused the interest of journalist Ros Astengo, who decided to investigate it further and to write a book about it. During her research, she came across a piece of information which could be crucial but appears to have been missed in the past.
Ros passed her findings to UK police, and officers working on Operation Thornhill, as the investigation is called, came to Gibraltar to find out more.
Now GBC, the media company for who Ros works, has reported that the Royal Gibraltar Police carried out ground penetrating radar scans last weekend in an area of the Rock which has never been searched as part of the investigation, and has said that UK detectives believe this fresh lead could be the most significant so far.
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