‘Shock’ over new arrest in Charlene Downes case

Karen Downes has been putting pressure on Lancashrie Police over her daughters case
Karen Downes has been putting pressure on Lancashrie Police over her daughters case

The mother of missing teenager Charlene Downes has told of her shock after police revealed a man had been arrested on suspicion of her daughter’s murder.

A 51-year-old was taken into custody in Preston early yesterday and has been questioned by officers investigating the teenager’s disappearance.

It shows they are still looking into Charlene’s case...

He has not been arrested previously in connection with the case.

Charlene was 14 when she went missing on November 1 2003. Despite two men twice standing trial for her murder nobody has been convicted in connection with the teen’s disappearance or death.

Last month her mother, Karen Downes threatened to sue Lancashire Police over the force’s handling of the case.

Today Karen Downes, who last month complained of a lack of contact from police, described the moment she was told of the latest development.

She said: “It’s just a shock.

“When I got the call from the officer yesterday morning to tell me what was happening I could not believe it.

“It shows they are still looking into Charlene’s case, which I was concerned about.

“That was what I was concerned about when I threatened to sue the police a couple of weeks ago.

“Maybe that was the wake up call they needed.

“It’s a total shock, I’m keeping an open mind about it all.

“But I still hope we will get justice for Charlene.”

The investigation into her disappearance is one of the largest and longest running in the history of Lancashire Police.

A £100,000 reward remains on offer for information leading to the conviction of her killer or killers.

Digging back through a decade of evidence in long-running search

A team of detectives, led by Det Supt Andy Webster, has been painstakingly reviewing all the evidence connected with the Charelene Downes case.

It is a decade since two men were arrested and charged with murdering the teenager and disposing of her body. During their trial in 2007 the jury at Preston Crown Court was told police carried out secret recordings during surveillance of a car and a flat. The jury failed to reach a verdict and during the re-trial the men were acquitted of all charges and awarded compensation for false imprisonment.

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 line a or email: charlenedownesinvestigation@lancashire.pnn.police.uk