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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 June, 2003, 06:58 GMT 07:58 UK
Missing sailor: police dig for clues
Simon Parkes
Simon Parkes was last seen in Gibraltar in December 1986
Detectives investigating the disappearance of a British sailor missing for more than 17 years have begun digging at a site in Gibraltar.

Simon Parkes from Kingswood, South Gloucestershire, was a radio operator on HMS Illustrious when he vanished in the colony in December 1986.

Then aged just 18, the naval rating left his passport, belongings and Christmas presents on board the ship when he went to visit a number of bars. He never returned.

Police re-opened the Simon Parkes case in 2001 after his shipmate, petty officer Allan Grimson, was convicted of two murders.

Allan Grimson
Petty Officer Allan Grimson was convicted of two murders in 2001

Since then Hampshire Police and the Royal Gibraltar Police have carried out a number of searches on the peninsula.

On Monday three detectives and a naval officer travelled to the colony to look for clues in the hunt for Mr Parkes.

Now they have begun digging in a garden area at the rear of South Pavillion Road near to South Barracks just outside Gibraltar Town

During the force's last visit to the colony, dogs were used to search the South Barracks and South Pavilion Road.

Hampshire Police have renewed their appeal for information about Mr Parkes's disappearance.

Gibraltar search for missing sailor
05 Jun 03  |  Bristol/Somerset
Missing sailor 'link' to killer
03 Apr 01  |  Europe
Navy killer jailed for life
28 Mar 01  |  UK News

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