Hollesley: TV appeal produces fresh leads in missing Luke Durbin case

Luke Durbin's mother Nicki and Det Supt John Brocklebank talk about the feed back after BBC Crimewat

Luke Durbin's mother Nicki and Det Supt John Brocklebank talk about the feed back after BBC Crimewatch appeal - Credit: Archant

Hours after the tale of missing Suffolk teenager Luke Durbin was beamed to television viewers across the country, police were following up fresh leads in the hope of solving a seven-and-a-half-year mystery.

Luke Durbin, of Hollesley, who has been missing for seven years.

Luke Durbin, of Hollesley, who has been missing for seven years. - Credit: Archant

New information – and two tip-offs in particular – could lead to the breakthrough his mother has been desperate for since the disappearance, following a night with friends in Ipswich on Thursday May 11, 2006.

Nicki Durbin, from Hollesley, near Woodbridge, still believes someone local – perhaps even a former acquaintance – knows something that will lead to him being found.

On Thursday, an appeal was broadcast to the nation on BBC1’s Crimewatch programme.

It sparked a flurry of calls to investigators, including two new lines of inquiry described as “worthy of further investigation” by Detective Superintendent John Brocklebank, of Suffolk police.

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“It was important to get the message across on a national scale,” he added. “We took a number of calls and we are processing all that information – but we do expect that someone locally knows what happened to Luke.

“If they don’t want to tell us, they should be brave enough to tell his mother. If there’s someone out there hoping this will go away, it won’t.”

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Det Supt Brocklebank described the hours between Luke appearing on CCTV crossing Dogs Head Street, Ipswich, at 4am on May 12, and a final recorded sighting of him in a dark blue Renault Megane driven by a black man in Woodbridge, between 11am and 2pm the following day, as “the missing piece of the jigsaw”.

Ms Durbin admits she was dissatisfied with the manner in which police initially dealt with the case – saying it should have become a murder inquiry – but has been full of praise for officers since the formation of the major investigation team in November 2010.

Among recent developments in the case was the revelation that Luke’s name and date of birth were used in an attempted computer fraud linked to an email address in the Brixton area of London.

She said: “I was certainly critical in the past. It feels like the police began investigating Luke’s disappearance three years ago – but since then I cannot fault them.

“The important thing is to focus on finding Luke. Someone saw or spoke to him and may not be coming forward for a some reason – possibly fear, or a mixed sense of loyalty. I beg for that person or people to come forward. My family deserves to find out what happened to him.”

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