A 51-year-old man was today arrested over the murder of a 14-year-old girl feared to have been chopped up for kebab meat in 2003.
Schoolgirl Charlene Downes was last seen 14 years ago after disappearing from her home in Blackpool, Lancashire.
No trace of her has ever been found but claims have been made that her body was chopped up and went ‘into kebabs’ at a takeaway in the seaside resort.
Last month her parents, Karen and Robert, vowed to sue Lancashire Police after learning crucial CCTV footage of her last movements was sat in archives for 12 years.
But yesterday the force finally announced a major breakout in the case – one of their longest investigations – after arrested a man on suspicion of her murder.
A Lancashire Police spokesman said: ‘The man, aged 51, who lived in Blackpool at the time of Charlene’s disappearance, is currently in custody.
‘Charlene was just 14 years old when she was last seen in Blackpool on Saturday November 1 2003.
‘A £100,000 reward remains on offer for information leading to the conviction of her killer or killers.
‘The investigation is one of the largest and longest running in the history of Lancashire Constabulary.’
Charlene’s murder investigation has been dogged by problems ever since in launched.
A 2007 murder trial collapsed because of police errors and the IPCC watchdog ruled the force’s blunders mean the killer may never be found.
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