Police set up tent in garden of Steven Clark’s parents after pair were arrested


Police have set up a tent in the back garden of Steven Clark’s elderly parents’ home after the pair were arrested over their missing son’s murder. 

Steven Clark went to visit the toilet while on a family walk near Saltburn Pier in Cleveland in December 1992 but was never seen again.

His parents Doris and Charles, who live in Marske-by-the-Sea, Cleveland, this week confirmed they had been arrested on suspicion of his murder, with his mother describing the situation as ‘absolutely ludicrous’.

Police made the arrests following a cold case review and specialist officers began their investigations in the back garden of the couple’s home on Friday. 

This morning five police cars and vans, a crime scene investigation vehicle and an incident command unit could be seen parked outside the semi-detached house.

A cordon was place across a public footpath that runs down the side of the house on Coast Road in the town. And a police tent could seen in the rear garden.  

A police tent was erected in the back garden of Steven Clark’s parents’ home as officers continue to investigate his suspected murder

Police believe believe that Steven has come to serious harm and a murder inquiry has been launched. His parents - Doris, 81, and Charles Clark, 78 - were arrested on suspicion of murder

Police believe believe that Steven has come to serious harm and a murder inquiry has been launched. His parents – Doris, 81, and Charles Clark, 78 – were arrested on suspicion of murder

Steven left his home in Marske for on a family walk before using the gents' public toilets near the pier on the promenade at Saltburn, Cleveland, while his mother went into the ladies'

Steven left his home in Marske for on a family walk before using the gents’ public toilets near the pier on the promenade at Saltburn, Cleveland, while his mother went into the ladies’

It comes after police asked an anonymous letter writer, who contacted officers in September 1999, to get in touch again.  

Police said their records showed the letter was assessed by officers and the information was recorded. However, the force is refusing to reveal the content of the letter or why it is now seen as important more than 20 years after it was sent.  

As a result of this, and due to there being no proof of life, detectives believe that Steven has come to serious harm and a murder inquiry has been launched.

Steven vanished mysteriously on Monday, December 28, 1992 in Saltburn. A missing persons report said that he was last seen at 3pm. 

The 23-year-old, who lived in nearby Marske, was said to have gone into a public toilet while his mother went into the ladies. He was not seen coming out of the gents on the town’s seaside promenade, and did not return home. 

Over the years his parents made several appeals for information in trying to find their son. But this week  Steven’s elderly parents – Doris, 81, and Charles Clark, 78 – have confirmed they were arrested on suspicion of murder.  

Ms Clarke said: ‘It’s just absolutely ludicrous. There’s nothing more to say, it’s surreal.’Asked if they denied murdering their son, she replied: ‘Absolutely, yes.

‘It’s just too hard to believe really, but we have to believe it and suffer the consequences.’ She said being on bail was ‘horrendous’, adding: ‘There’s nothing I can say, except for the shock of being arrested.

‘It’s difficult isn’t it? ‘You get so tense and upset, we’ve just got to get on with it, I’m afraid. There’s nothing we can do, just wait and hope we get through it.’ 

Speaking on the doorstep as they arrived home in the evening, Mrs Clark added: ‘We’ve just got back, we’ve been there all day.’ 

Detectives from the Cleveland and North Yorkshire Cold Case Unit reopened Steven's case after conducting an investigation into the circumstances of his disappearance

Detectives from the Cleveland and North Yorkshire Cold Case Unit reopened Steven’s case after conducting an investigation into the circumstances of his disappearance

A police tent was erected in the back garden of Steven Clark's parents' home as officers continue to investigate his suspected murder

A police tent was erected in the back garden of Steven Clark’s parents’ home as officers continue to investigate his suspected murder

Missing person posters were issued at the time of Mr Clark's disappearance

Missing person posters were issued at the time of Mr Clark’s disappearance   

Detective Chief Inspector Shaun Page asked the letter writer to call Crimestoppers anonymously or the investigation team directly and give them any additional information they may have.

He said: ‘I can’t divulge the contents or topic of the letter, but it was sent through the post and addressed to the incident room at Guisborough Police Station. 

‘The person who sent it may know more that could help our inquiry team.They obviously felt compelled to write the letter seven years after his disappearance and I would like to hear from them again now.

‘It’s clear from the response that we have had overall from the public that a lot of people knew Steven from living in Marske. I would like to thank the local community for their co-operation in this investigation so far.

‘We do still want people to come forward and tell us if they knew Steven or if they have any information that would benefit the inquiry.’  

Anyone with information can use the Cleveland Police section of the Major Incident Public Portal via https://mipp.police.uk/, call Cleveland Police on the non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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