New appeal as parents tell of anguish over 21-year mystery

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The parents of a young mother who went missing 21 years ago are hoping a new police appeal will help them finally find out what happened to her.

Nicola Payne, 18, went missing from her home in Coventry in December 1991.

Marilyn and John Payne yesterday said they hoped the appeal would encourage people to come forward with information so the case could be solved.

Mrs Payne said: “I have a special time of the day where I sit and I think about Nicola. I even talk to her picture and I always think about her.

“I run through things in case we have missed or forgotten anything. It’s very difficult yet people keep saying to me you’re so strong. If they could see inside I’m completely broken. I get this awful pain and it just doesn’t go away.

“That will never lift until she is found. If she’s found then we can lay her to rest and then we’ve got an ending.”

Marking the anniversary of Nicola’s disappearance, West Midlands Police reappealed for information on two men spotted near where she was last seen.

That day Nicola left her home in Winston Avenue around midday to walk the short distance to her parents’ home. She has never been seen again. Police have appealed for anyone with information on the men or the car to contact them.

Detective Inspector Martin Slevin said: “We continue to investigate Nicola’s disappearance and are reappealing for sightings of two men seen on the day she went missing. These men have never been eliminated from this inquiry and we are keen to trace anyone who may have seen them, who knows them or knows anything about them.”

He added that a reward of £10,000 is available for information leading to the whereabouts of Nicola.

Mr Payne said: “The new appeal has given us hope that we’re going to find something. We’ve always believed someone local knows something. We’re not getting any younger and we just want answers.

“We just need someone to come forward who can help the police to put it all together and solve the case.”

Two men, aged 45 and 74, arrested earlier this year have been eliminated from police inquiries, Det Insp Slevin said.