POLICE in Gibraltar are using ground-penetrating radar at a new area of the Upper Rock to search for the remains of a sailor missing for 36 years.

Simon Parkes, 18, disappeared in Gibraltar on December 12, 1986, and a number of police investigations since were unable to find his remains.

But new information that came to light during a book on the subject by GBC journalist Ros Astengo gave police a new lead to solve the mystery.

After radar scans, Gibraltar police plan to carry out a forensic dig in the next few months.

It could be the key to unlocking this mystery that has left Simon Parkes’ devastated parents without closure for decades.

Parkes left HMS Illustrious on shore leave in 1986 and went to the Horseshoe Pub in Main Street to go drinking with crewmates.

He left at about 10.30pm to return to his ship at the Naval Base but was never seen again.

Police and military searches were unable to find his remains and he was declared Absent without Leave.

The case took an unexpected twist in 1999 when gay former Royal Navy officer Allan Grimson confessed to killing two men.

He murdered them on December 12, the same day Simon Parkes went missing in Gibraltar.

Grimson had been on the same ship as Parkes but said he had nothing to do with the disappearance.

A UK court sentenced Grimson to life in prison for the murders he admitted to.

During Astengo’s investigation, the new lead came to light and she passed it on to the Royal Gibraltar Police.

“I never expected to come across a new lead, but I really hope my work will bring them the peace they deserve,” the journalist said.

Now, the victim’s parents David and Margaret Parkes could finally get the peace they deserve after years of waiting.


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