UK

Charlene Downes: Murder Arrest Over Missing Blackpool Teenager

She disappeared 14 years ago.

01/08/2017 12:37 BST | Updated 01/08/2017 12:40 BST

A man has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of a Blackpool teenager whose body has never been found.

The man, aged 51, lived in Blackpool at the time of Charlene’s Downes’ disappearance in 2003 and is now in custody.

Charlene was just 14 when she kissed her mother goodbye and went to visit friends on Blackpool Promenade on Saturday 1 November 2003. She was never seen again.

PA Archive/PA Images
Charlene Downes disappeared in Blackpool in 2003 

During a 2007 trial, prosecutors claimed her body was chopped up and had “gone into kebabs.” Two men were later acquitted of her death. 

The court heard Charlene was one of a number of young white girls who gravitated to Blackpool’s takeaways to have sex with older men.

A jury failed to reach a verdict in the trial in 2007 and a retrial in 2008 collapsed after the Crown Prosecution Service offered no evidence.

A £100,000 reward remains on offer for information leading to the conviction of her killer or killers. The investigation is one of the largest and longest in the history of Lancashire Constabulary.