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Charlene Detectives Turn To Blackpool FC

30 January 2015

Renewed Appeal For Charlene Downes Information

Lancashire Constabulary is turning to Blackpool Football Club and its fans as detectives continue to search for new information about Charlene Downes.

Charlene was just 14-years-old when she was last seen alive in Blackpool on Saturday 1 November 2003. Despite a lengthy and complex investigation and numerous media appeals, the person or people responsible have never been brought to justice. 

Prior to Blackpool’s home game against Brighton tomorrow and during half time, an appeal for information will feature on the big screen at Bloomfield Road.

The appeal, detailing the £100,000 reward, will also feature inside the matchday programme.

Detective Superintendent Andy Webster said: “We have never given up our search for information about Charlene, who we believe was murdered over a decade ago. We are determined to establish exactly what happened to her and to identify who is responsible for her murder and who has assisted in disposing of her body.

“We are immensely grateful to Blackpool Football Club for their support and recognise this is yet another example of their work with our local communities. By featuring our appeal inside Blackpool FC’s matchday programme and on their big screen, we hope to reach people who could potentially assist us.

“We appreciate that a considerable amount of time has passed since Charlene went missing, but we would still encourage anyone with information at all to come forward and speak to us as it could assist in our enquiries, and help bring the killer or killers to justice.”

In December, police released CCTV footage of a woman and a teenage girl on Talbot Road in Blackpool around 9pm the night Charlene disappeared. Detectives believe this could be the last image of Charlene alive.

The £100,000 reward for information – put up by Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner – was also announced on BBC’s Crimewatch programme.

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: "Someone out there knows something about what happened to Charlene on Saturday 1 November 2003. Detectives believe the answer lies in Blackpool – and it could lie at Bloomfield Road on Saturday.

"Her family deserve answers, and I am supporting detectives in any way I can to help solve this terrible crime.

"I have made a £100,000 reward available for information which leads to the conviction of Charlene's killer(s) or the recovery of her body. If you know something about what happened, now is the time to tell police."

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 quoting log number LC-20141127-0218 or they can email charlenedownesinvestigation@lancashire.pnn.police.uk

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