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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 August 2007, 13:29 GMT 14:29 UK
Boy appeals over missing mother
Nicola Payne and Owen
Owen said Nicola had a "loving bond" with him
A 16-year-old who was just seven months old when his mother disappeared has called on the public to help find her.

Nicola Payne was 18 when she went missing while walking through a grassy area in Wood End, Coventry, in 1991.

Owen Cooke said: "My one wish would be to have my mum found and to be able to understand the confusion, mystery and heartbreak of the past 16 years."

The boy's statement was read out at a news conference by Nicola's mother, Maz Payne, as he was too upset to attend.

Ms Payne was walking through an area known as the Black Pad from the family home of her partner, Jason Cooke, on Winston Avenue, to her parents' house on nearby Woodway Close, when she disappeared.

'No memories'

Her parents have now appealed for information to help end their "living nightmare".

Police told the media a review of the case in March had uncovered some new leads, but declined to comment further on them.

Owen, who has just left school and hopes to become an electrician, said: "I was seven months old when my lovely mum Nickie went missing.

John and Maz Payne
Her parents appealed to end their "living nightmare"

"Nan and granddad always say that she had a loving bond with me, which was noticeable to all.

"Sadly I have no memories of her and I envy my older cousins who remember her well, and they tell me what a fun-loving girl she was."

Ms Payne's father, John said: "The family do not believe Nickie is still alive, but we will never give up hope that one day our daughter will be found and then we will have some kind of closure.

"Please help to give us peace of mind."

Ms Owen and Mr Cooke had been living with Owen between the two addresses, which were about half a mile apart, while they built and furnished their own home.

A major police search was launched after she went missing on 14 December 1991, but no trace of her was ever found.

10,000 reward

Det Ch Insp Steve Bimson, senior investigating officer of the inquiry, said he was keeping an open mind on the case.

He said: "Nicola had never gone missing before. She was in a steady relationship, had a seven-month-old child on whom she doted and was making plans for the future."

A 10,000 reward raised by Nicola's family and friends is still on offer to anyone who can give information leading to her whereabouts.

Anyone with information is asked to contact West Midlands Police or Crimestoppers.

New plea in missing mother case
11 Dec 05 |  Coventry/Warwickshire

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