New information suggests a man who disappeared almost 25 years ago may have been killed and buried on land in Merseyside, police say.
Steven Preston, 23, went missing on 18 September 1992 from his home in Wirral.
Supt Ian Hassall said new information suggests he may have “been murdered and buried in a specific area of land near to junction 5 of the M53 motorway”.
Officers are carrying out an “extensive land search” in the Eastham area of Wirral, Merseyside Police said.
Supt Hassall said Mr Preston was last seen by his mum, Isobel, as “he waved from his bedroom window to her when she left for work at 08:45” BST from their home in Heath Road, Bebington.
“Isobel said there had been no arguments and Steven had left home without his jacket or prescription for medication he was on”, he said.
Gentle and kind
He was reported missing five days later but was never found.
“Today a painstaking search is being carried out following information recently obtained by detectives, which suggest that Steven may have been murdered and buried in a specific area of land near to junction 5 of the M53 motorway”, Supt Hassall added.
Mr Preston’s sister, Jane, said she was “anxious to find out what happened to her brother after all these years.”
She said he was “a gentle, kind and funny lad” who “didn’t have a nasty bone in him.”
“He adored my mum and it destroyed her when he disappeared. She knew instantly that he wouldn’t have just left and never contact her again and that something awful must have happened to him”, she said.
Supt Hassall appealed for information, saying: “Sadly, Steven’s mother, Isobel, and half-brother, Michael Connolly have died since his disappearance, never knowing what had happened to him.
“A young man in 20s doesn’t just leave home and vanish into thin air. Somebody, somewhere must know where he is, or what happened to him.”