Home Office called in in search for Luke

OFFICERS investigating the disappearance of missing Suffolk teenager Luke Durbin have enlisted the help of the Home Office and specialist officers from other forces, The Evening Star can reveal today.

OFFICERS investigating the disappearance of missing Suffolk teenager Luke Durbin have enlisted the help of the Home Office and specialist officers from other forces, The Evening Star can reveal today.

It has now been seven weeks since the 19-year-old disappeared following a night out in Ipswich and police are still no closer to uncovering what happened to him.

Acting Detective Inspector Ian Addison, leading the inquiry, said: “This is one of the most unusual cases I have worked on.

“I have worked on a lot of major incidents but not one like this where there is nothing to suggest anything.

“It is not often in this day and age, in the scientific age of policing, that you end up with so little to go on because it is very hard to move around without leaving a trace somewhere.”

DI Addison said Suffolk police had now enlisted the help of national experts and other officers who had worked on similar cases in the UK.

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He said: “At the moment we are no further forward than confirming where Luke was at 4am on Friday, May 12.”

The Hollesley teenager had been on a night out with friends at Zest nightclub prior to going missing.

He left his mobile phone, wallet and new motorbike at a friend's house in Woodbridge and never collected them.

DI Addison said:: “Luke and his friends got separated in the club for entirely innocent reasons and it wasn't unusual for them to end up going home separately.

“His friends thought he might have got lucky or met up with some friends - there was no reason for them to suspect anything untoward or anything like that.”

Luke is thought to have left the club at about 2am and made his way to Ipswich Railway Station.

The next confirmed sighting of the teenager was at 3.40am near the Hawk Express Cabs office in Old Foundry Road.

Luke was unable to get a taxi and advised to try catching a bus from the Cattlemarket.

The last CCTV images show him in Dogs Head Street heading towards the bus station at about 4am.

DI Addison said his dedicated team of officers were still receiving calls from members of the public with sightings of Luke and these were being pursued.

He added: “We will explore everything and we have explored the possibility that he was involved in drugs but there is nothing to say that that is the reason why he has gone missing and we can't say for definite if he was involved in that or not.

“We can't get away from the fact that there may be an innocent reason why he has gone missing. “Something may have happened completely innocently that caused his disappearance.

“There is no evidence to suggest there has been a crime and no evidence to suggest there hasn't.”

Anyone with information about Luke's disappearance should contact the enquiry team on 01473 613500.

Do you have a message for Luke's family? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk





POLICE working on the Luke Durbin inquiry have used all the technology at their disposal in a bid to track the missing teenager.

The police helicopter has tracked Luke's possible journey home, search teams have scoured roadsides and officers have interviewed Luke's friends and family in an effort to build a picture of the 19-year-old.

Every call from the public has, or will be, followed up and a six-strong team is devoted to the project.

The most significant device available to them is the CCTV footage recorded on the night.

So far it has helped uncover some of Luke's movements and police hope it will help unravel more clues about the teenager's disappearance.

Pc Emma Patterson has devoted the last month to trawling through the footage.

From Ipswich's CCTV base she has been scanning hours of film for a tiny glimpse of the young man.

She said: “I don't mind doing this because I know it is an important job.

“It is vital to get the last sighting of people who saw him and where he went.”

Pc Patterson has spent three to five hours each day sifting through the footage. She is scouring not only CCTV recorded by Ipswich Borough Council but also video recorded by businesses in the area.

She said: “Some of the CCTV is not great, you will get a slight shot of what is possibly him and then the video will flick to a different street or a different angle.

“There have been numerous times when I have to keep rewinding the tape to make sure I haven't missed anything.”

Every time Pc Patterson finds a possible clip of Luke she shows it to DI Addison who then takes it to Luke's mum to confirm whether it is the missing teenager. If his identity is confirmed, the pictures are released to the media so further appeals can be made.

Pc Patterson then tries to look at footage of where Luke may have gone next and tracks the movements of potential witnesses.

She said: “The next stage is to look at the tapes from the Woodbridge Road area to see if he tried to walk home.

“There are still quite a lot to watch. I think there are about 17 altogether with seven to eight cameras on each.”

AS the search for Luke Durbin continues, The Evening Star will be regularly updating its website with developments.

All of our previous stories about his disappearance have been placed in a special section on the site and we are dedicated to bringing you the latest news as soon as we have it.

Nigel Pickover, Star editor, said: “This is shaping up to be a great summer, with wonderful weather and events like the football lifting everyone's spirits.

“But for one family the nightmare continues and we want to show them we have not forgotten them.

“Everyone is hoping and praying for Luke's safe return.”

Since Luke disappeared on May 12 police have launched numerous appeals for information.

Mr Durbin is described as white, 5ft 10ins, slim, with short mousy-coloured wavy hair and blue eyes. On the night he went missing he was wearing blue jeans, a black shirt, brown suede shoes and possibly a blue or grey sweatshirt.

Anyone with information can call Luke's friend Zac Madison on 07899 721074, Woodbridge police station on 01473 613500, Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or the National Missing Persons Helpline on 0500 700700.