New materials found in Simon Parkes cemetery search tested to 'see if they are human'

SEARCHES carried out in the murder investigation launched into the disappearance of a Royal Navy sailor more than 30 years ago have found new ‘materials’.

Friday, 2nd October 2020, 4:51 pm
Updated Friday, 2nd October 2020, 5:41 pm
Royal Gibraltar Police at Trafalgar Cemetery in Gibraltar on September 21 2020 in the resumed search for missing Royal Navy sailor Simon Parkes. Picture: Johnny Bugeja/Gibraltar Chronicle

Hampshire police have declined to reveal the nature of the material found at Trafalgar Cemetery in Gibraltar and how it may be linked to Simon Parkes, a navy radio operator.

But they said tests are being undertaken to see if they are human.

As reported, Simon was 18 and stationed on HMS Illustrious when he vanished on the British Overseas Territory in December 1986 after a run ashore.

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Royal Gibraltar Police search Trafalgar Cemetery at the British Overseas Territory after a new dig started on September 21 2020 in connection with the Hampshire police murder investigation into the death of Royal Navy radio operator Simon Parkes, who vanished in 1986. Picture: Hampshire police

Murder investigators launched a probe last year, with Hampshire officers joining in the search of the cemetery. Bone fragments were found are being analysed.

Two weeks ago further searches were carried out by the Royal Gibraltar Police, and these ended on Wednesday.

Archaeologists were joined by a forensic anthropologist.

They ‘have been carrying out tests on materials found to assess whether they are human,' police said.

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Detective Inspector Adam Edwards said: ‘We cannot provide further details about the outcome of these searches at the current time.

‘I’d like to thank our colleagues at Royal Gibraltar Police for their assistance with this latest operation and the public in Gibraltar for their patience during this activity.

‘We have kept Mr and Mrs Parkes informed of our progress and I’d like to thank them again for their support.

‘We know this remains a difficult time for them and we hope our work will finally bring them the answers they so desperately want.’

Questions were raised about Allan Grimson, who also served on Illustrious, after he was convicted and jailed for brutal murder of two ratings he lured back to his Portsmouth flat in 1997 and 1998.

Grimson served 22 years in the senior service travelling the globe. But he was secretly a murderer who would later tell police killing was ‘better than sex’.

The Royal Gibraltar Police and Royal Navy are involved in the British police investigation.

Simon’s parents Margaret and Dave, who live in Bristol, previously told The News they want to find out what happened to their son.

Both have been informed about the latest update in the investigation.