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Detectives search cemetery in hunt for missing sailor

Disappeared: Naval rating Simon Parkes was last seen in December 1986

DETECTIVES investigating the disappearance of a Royal Navy sailor 33 years ago are to carry out further searches at a cemetery.

Simon Parkes was last seen in December 1986 when his ship HMS Illustrious was docked in Gibraltar.

The 18-year-old radio operator went ashore but never made it back.

Parents: Margaret and David Parkes

His disappearance has previously been part of investigations by Hampshire Constabulary into serial killer Allan Grimson, now serving life for the murder of two young men.

He was a petty officer on board the same aircraft carrier as Mr Parkes.

Now, the force is starting a week-long search of Gibraltar’s Trafalgar Cemetery, led by Det Insp Roger Wood, of Hampshire’s major crime investigation team. He said: ‘We believe this new information is credible and gives us an opportunity to find out once and for all what has happened to Simon.’

Site of interest: Trafalgar Cemetery PICTURES: HAMPSHIRE CONSTABULARY/PA

Mr Parkes’s mother Margaret said: ‘We know there’s a chance we won’t get the answers we so desperately want but it would mean the world to us if we could finally bring Simon home.’

Grimson was jailed in 2001 at Winchester crown court for the murders of naval rating Nicholas Wright, 18, from Leicestershire, and barman Sion Jenkins, 20, from Newbury, Berkshire. He has always denied being involved in Mr Parkes’s disappearance.