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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 March 2006, 11:15 GMT
Missing teenager 'was murdered'
Charlene Downes
Police now believe 14-year-old Charlene was murdered
Detectives searching for a teenager who disappeared in Blackpool more than two years ago have arrested two men on suspicion of murder.

Charlene Downes has not been seen since 1 November 2003, when she said she was going to a bar with friends.

Police now believe Charlene, who was 14 at the time of her disappearance, has been killed.

Three Blackpool men, aged 28, 29 and 49, are currently being questioned - two of them on suspicion of murder.

The 29-year-old has been arrested in connection with her disappearance, police said.

These arrests follow months of painstaking delicate enquiries by the investigation team working on this case
Det Supt Paul Buschini

The hunt for Charlene has been one of Lancashire Constabulary's longest-running missing-from-home inquiries, but has been conducted as a murder investigation.

More than 3,000 people were spoken to by police officers and almost 2,500 statements were taken.

Det Supt Paul Buschini, leading the investigation, said: "Both myself and the Downes' family liaison officer have remained in contact with the family keeping them up-to-date of the investigation.

"It was with great sadness that we informed them that we do now firmly believe that Charlene was murdered.

"These arrests follow months of painstaking delicate enquiries by the investigation team working on this case."

Police said they would now be searching a number of premises in the town as part of their investigation.


SEE ALSO:
Fears for teenager missing a year
29 Oct 04 |  Lancashire
Fresh appeal over missing girl
24 Nov 03 |  Lancashire
Girl missing since Halloween
11 Nov 03 |  Lancashire


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