Felixstowe: First photo of Fast Eddie Maher

THIS is the first picture the world has seen of former security guard Eddie Maher since he went missing 19 years ago.

Apart from putting on a little weight, having less hair and having gone grey, it is unmistakably Maher, who is wanted in connection with the theft of �1 million from a Securicor van in Felixstowe in 1993.

The photo was released by Greene County Jail in Missouri after he was booked in following a court appearance for firearms charges.

Meanwhile, Suffolk police are continuing to liaise with the authorities in America concerning the detention of Maher and the possibility of bringing him back to the UK for questioning over the theft at Felixstowe.

“Suffolk Constabulary has engaged with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) about the extradition process,” said a police spokeswoman.

“A review of the investigation and the evidence gathered at the time will take place and be submitted to the CPS.

“Once the CPS has received this, Suffolk Constabulary will seek their approval to get authority through the courts to sanction the extradition process.”

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It is understood the extradition process is likely to be lengthy, and could take a number of months to complete.

Investigating officers will work closely with the CPS throughout the course of the investigation and the extradition process.

If the extradition process is successful, Maher will return to the UK and inquiries will then continue into the alleged theft from 19 years ago.

At this stage there are no immediate plans to send Suffolk officers to the United States.

Officers are also trying to establish if the woman Maher has been living with in Ozark is Deborah Brett, his common-law wife in 1993 and who has been missing – along with their son Lee – since that time.

The FBI court affidavit for Maher’s hearing said that the woman at his apartment had identified herself as Deborah Ann Brett.

Although regarded as a “cold case”, officers have reviewed the case on a number of occasions over the past 19 years and spoken to Interpol in relation to Maher’s whereabouts.

There isn’t an international arrest warrant in place for him.