April Fabb: the Norfolk girl missing for 50 years
8 April 2019, 08:17 | Updated: 8 April 2019, 08:21
It's exactly 50 years since the disappearance of Norfolk schoolgirl April Fabb.
The 13-year-old disappeared while travelling between the villages of Metton and Roughton, near Cromer, on Tuesday 8 April 1969.
Despite an extensive police investigation with nearly 2,000 statements taken, April has never been seen since.
Over the years, police have pursued a numerous lines of enquiry, eliminating a number of potential suspects.
Andy Guy, the Major Crime Review and Cold Case Manager within the joint Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team, said that despite the passing of time he still believes there are people alive who may know what happened to April.
He said: "This is perhaps one of the most high profile cases in Norfolk’s recent history. Despite the passing of time it continues to be prominent in the public’s mind.
"We’ve always been determined to find closure for the family and over the years we’ve pursued numerous lines of enquiry.
"Sadly, April’s mother passed away not knowing what happened to her daughter. I do believe there are still people alive today who may know, or strongly suspect what happened to April and we would always review and pursue any new credible information that could unlock this mystery."
On the day she disappeared, April was travelling from her home in Metton to visit her sister in nearby Roughton. She had a packet of 10 cigarettes, 5 ½d and a handkerchief in the saddlebag of her bicycle. The cigarettes were a birthday present for her brother-in-law.
April set off on her bicycle at about 1.40pm and shortly after leaving home she met two friends at the "Donkey Field" next to Harrison’s Farm on Cromer Road in Metton.
After ten minutes she left stating she was on her way to her sister's. Just after 2pm, an employee at Harrison’s Farm saw April riding her cycle along Roughton Road, Metton in the direction of Roughton. This was the last known sighting of April.
A short time later at about 2.15pm, Ordinance Survey workers in a van saw April’s bicycle lying in a field on the Metton to Roughton Road just a few hundred yards from where she was last seen. April had disappeared within a time frame of no longer than ten minutes.
At about 3pm the same day, a local man was driving his mother home when he saw April’s bicycle in the field. He took it to the Police House at Roughton where he handed it to the village PC. The cigarettes, money and handkerchief were still in the saddlebag.
It became apparent later that evening that April was missing when her mother realised she never reached her sister’s house in Roughton. By the following morning a full scale enquiry was under way.
A local search was carried out while enquiries were made with her family and friends. A thorough investigation followed with 1,971 statements taken and 419 house to house questionnaires completed.
She was wearing a wine coloured split skirt, similar to culottes which she had made herself along with a green jumper, a pair of long white socks and a pair of wooden soled sandals with red straps and brass buckles.
Anyone with information concerning April's disappearance should call the Major Crime Review Team on 01953 423819 or online at https://mipp.police.uk/operation/363719N22-PO1.