The disappearance and suspected murder of a mother of two last seen alive more than 16 years ago is among the ‘cold cases’ being reviewed by a new police unit launched today.
Nurse Marsha Wray vanished on January 24, 1997, after dropping her children, Philippa, then nine, and Robert, then six, off at a primary school in Harrogate.
There have been no sightings of her since then and despite previous intensive investigations, searches and public appeals, police have yet to discover what happened to her.
North Yorkshire Police hopes the launch of its new Major Crime Unit, opened today at a base in Harrogate, will help “bring the person responsible for her disappearance and murder to justice”.
The new unit, which has cost £300,000 to set up, employs 31 officers and staff specialising in major crimes including homicide, kidnap and rape.
Police say the move will give fresh impetus to the investigation of long-standing cases, including that of Claudia Lawrence, the York chef who disappeared in 2009.
Detective Superintendent Dai Malyn, head of the new unit, worked on the Marsha Wray case as a young detective and said he remained “determined now to bring closure to this case and provide answers to her family and friends”. He added: “I remain convinced that there are people who may have information that could help us with this investigation even now.”
Today’s launch marks the first time a dedicated team has been assembled in North Yorkshire, which has the lowest crime rate in the country, to investigate murder and other serious violent and sexual crimes.
Anyone with information about the Marsha Wray case should contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 and select option 1, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.