Missing mum of seven

Police in Dudley have reopened a case of a missing mother of seven who disappeared 11 years ago.

Patricia Lashley was last seen at her flat in Hall Street, Dudley on the morning of September 1, 1998. She was reported missing to police some months later. She would now be aged 45.

Detective Inspector Nigel Smith, from Dudley Criminal Investigation Department, is heading the new inquiry. He said:

 "Over the years since Patricia went missing we have conducted many searches, inquiries and trawled through a great deal of information however she is yet to be found.

"Missing person investigations always remain open, should any new information be received, and we are now reviewing Patricia's case in the hope that a revised appeal may help us to solve the mystery of her disappearance for her family, especially her seven children."

Patricia left her home following a row with her boyfriend in the September of 1998. It is known that she had been suffering from depression. She has been missing before on several occasions for days at a time, although these previous incidents had not been reported to police.

The last incident was officially reported on June 8 1999 by Pat's sister in Ebbw Vale, Wales who had not heard from her since the previous September.

Enquiries subsequently revealed that Patricia has family links with Newcastle, London, Wales and also with Cyprus, where her ex-husband's family were from. She has seven children.

Pat is white, 5ft 4, slim with straight, mousey brown hair. She has a distinctive Geordie accent and her front teeth are black with teeth missing at the sides. Patricia also used the names of Jade Lashley, Patricia Lashleigh or Janessa Bradford. She also went by the name of Tricia.

DI Smith added: "We are aware that prior to her disappearance Pat had suffered with drink and drug problems. Whether this has any connection with her going missing it is still unclear.

"What we do know is that Pat's sister and her children were distressed and bewildered by her disappearance and desperately want to know what has happened to her.

"Some of her children were cared for by family members, whilst the youngest three boys were taken into Social Services care. Her youngest would be 12 by now. It is difficult to imagine that Pat can't be wondering what he is like now they he is a grown boy. He was just 9-months-old when she left."

Dudley Police continue to be concerned for Mrs Lashley's welfare. She has not withdrawn any money since 1998 and she did not take any possessions with her.

Patricia is originally from Newcastle Upon Tyne, where she met Hassan Mehmet and they had four children. They later parted and she went on to marry Nathan Lashley in 1992. They lived in London and had two children but went their separate ways, which is when Patricia moved to Dudley. During her three known years in Dudley Patricia had a seventh child before meeting and moving in with boyfriend Trevor Dunkley.

DI Smith added: "Patricia has obviously had a colourful life where she has moved around the country and formed a number of relationships.

"Despite this producing a number of lines of inquiry none of those brought us any closer to finding Patricia.

"What we do know is that her family has not heard from her for almost 12 years, she has not appeared on any government systems by claiming benefit or anything else and she has not used her known bank accounts.

"It truly is a mystery, and one we are keen to solve for the sake of her family."

Officers are keen to speak to anyone who thinks they may have information to help the police investigation. Anyone able to help is urged to contact Brierley Hill police station on 0345 113 5000.