Operation Thornhill – Further searches conclude in Gibraltar.
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Investigations into the disappearance of a young sailor more than 30 years ago have seen further searches carried out in Gibraltar over the last fortnight.
Hampshire Constabulary’s investigation into what happened to Simon Parkes has been assisted by Royal Gibraltar Police at Trafalgar Cemetery where new areas of interest were searched. These searches by specialist teams from Royal Gibraltar Police concluded on Wednesday 30 September.
Archaeologists were assisted by an anthropologist over the last fortnight and have been carrying out tests on materials found to assess whether they are human.
This Hampshire Constabulary led investigation continues to be a collaborative operation with Royal Gibraltar Police and the Royal Navy.
Royal Navy Rating Parkes, from Bristol, was last seen in December 1986, when the ship he was serving on, HMS Illustrious, was docked in Gibraltar.
The 18-year-old radio operator went onto shore but never made it back on-board and when the ship returned to Portsmouth days later, no one knew what had happened to him despite a huge search to find him.
Since then investigations into his disappearance have so far failed to find answers for his devastated parents.
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.”