POLICE searching for a missing sailor, who is feared murdered, have unearthed bone fragments in Gibraltar.
Simon Parkes, 18, is believed to have been killed after he disappeared in December 1986, while serving on serving on aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious.
The Bristol-born radio operator came ashore in Gibraltar but never made it back on-board the ship.
After new information about Parkes emerged, fears have grown that he may have been the victim of a serial killer.
The Royal Gibraltar Police (RGP) and Hampshire Constabulary then began searching the Rock’s Trafalgar Cemetery earlier this week.
Officers have now announced they have found pieces of ‘bone material’, but they will have to be sent for analysis to verify if they are from a human.
Simon’s mum and dad said: “We would like to thank everyone involved for their support and the opportunity to again search for Simon.
“’It is a very difficult time but we are optimistic that the search is not over and we will never give up hope of finding him.”
The young man’s disappearance has previously been linked to the so-called ‘Frankenstein killer’ Allan Grimson.
Double murderer Grimson, who told interrogators slitting one of his victims’ throats was better than sex, had been part of the same crew as Simon.
Police have appealed for witnesses to come forward.
DCI Finlayson, who is working on the investigation, highlighted the importance of “never giving up in an unresolved cold case investigation.”
He said: “The Police is duty bound to the general public and to Simon’s heartbroken parents, to follow up these new investigative opportunities, and we are hopeful that answers will be forthcoming.”