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Lancashire Constabulary - Murder Investigation

DETECTIVES are appealing for information regarding the Murder of Blackpool teenager Charlene DOWNES on the anniversary of her disappearance 20 years ago.

Details of Incident

It is 20 years since Blackpool teenager Charlene Downes disappeared and the search to find out what happened to her continues.

Charlene was 14 years old and vulnerable when she went missing, the last sighting of her being on November 1, 2003.

There’s evidence that she was a victim of Child Sexual Exploitation prior to her going missing.

Lancashire Police’s most senior detective has today appealed to people to search their conscience and think back 20 years to when Charlene went missing.

Detective Chief Supt Pauline Stables, the Constabulary’s Head of Crime, said: “I know there are people out there who will have information which would help us find out what happened to Charlene.

“It’s 20 years since Charlene was last seen and perhaps in that time your loyalties and acquaintances have changed and that allows you to think differently than you might have done previously.

“In the past you might not have wanted to come forward with what you know, but now you are able to.

“Please do the right thing and come forward.

“We want justice for Charlene, we want justice for Charlene’s parents and family.

“Charlene was a vulnerable teenage girl in Blackpool who was being exploited and there will have been other children in the same position who knew Charlene and perhaps know what happened to her.

“Perhaps you were too frightened and afraid to tell someone what was happening and who was involved. Now time has moved on, you may feel that you can now speak to us.

“The answers to Charlene’s disappearance will be in Blackpool and we remain determined to bring her loved ones the closure they deserve.”

The investigation is one of the largest and longest running in the history of Lancashire Police.

A £100,000 reward, sanctioned by Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden, remains on offer for anyone with information that leads to the prosecution of her killer(s) or assists in the recovery of Charlene’s body.

Contact Information

Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting Incident Reference LC-20231027-0663. Alternatively independant charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111or online at