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Murder probe after student goes missing

PUBLISHED: 10:53 19 June 2008 | UPDATED: 11:14 03 July 2010

The disappearance of a 17-year-old Yarmouth student triggered a full- scale murder inquiry by Norfolk police's major investigation team yesterday.

Simon Everitt, an engineering student at Yarmouth College, was last seen on a mountain bike near the entrance to James Paget University Hospital in Lowestoft Road, Gorleston, at about 11pm on Saturday, June 7.

The disappearance of a 17-year-old Yarmouth student triggered a full- scale murder inquiry by Norfolk police's major investigation team yesterday.

Simon Everitt, an engineering student at Yarmouth College, was last seen on a mountain bike near the entrance to James Paget University Hospital in Lowestoft Road, Gorleston, at about 11pm on Saturday, June 7.

His family and friends have become increasingly concerned for his safety over the last week but his disappearance was only treated as suspicious after a call by a member of the public to the police control room on Sunday evening.

Despite no body being found, Det Chief Insp Steve Strong said last night: “I cannot go into details about the call from the public but we have strong grounds for treating this as a murder rather than a missing-person inquiry.”

He confirmed that three people, two men aged 24 and 19 and a woman aged 39, had been arrested on suspicion of murder and interviewed at separate police stations.

They had later been released on police bail pending further inquiries.

Twenty officers have been called on to the inquiry and yesterday two searches - believed to be connected to those arrested - were being carried out in different parts of Yarmouth.

Mr Everitt, who lived in a bedsit in Beach House Hotel, Marine Parade, Yarmouth, had not been seen in college for two weeks. Since the last sighting, when he was with a male friend also on a bike, his mobile phone had been dead.

Chief Insp Strong said: “He is a local chap and well known but there has been none of his usual contact with family and friends which is very unusual.”

On the night of his disappearance, Mr Everitt had earlier been seen near the BHS store in Yarmouth town centre at about 10.30pm.

Chief Insp Strong said: “As part of our inquiries we are checking CCTV to build up a picture of his journey until he was last seen near the hospital.”

He said neither the silver, black and yellow full-suspension mountain bike he had been riding nor the one his friend had been on had been found, so his team were keen to hear about dumped bikes being spotted by the public. Police had no idea where Mr Everitt and his friend had been heading.

Chief Insp Strong said: “Any person who has seen or had contact with Simon since the evening of Saturday, June 7, is urged to contact police on 0845 456 4567. Their information could be of great importance to the investigation.”

Mr Everitt's father Vince, who also lives locally, last night issued a passionate appeal to his son in the hope he is still alive.

He said: “Simon, we ask you to get hold of us in anyway you can, even if you have a problem. Let us know you're safe and well.

“You have my phone number - ring me. I have sent you an email, please answer it.

“If you need our help you know where we are and how to get hold of us, no matter what the problem is. We can solve it as a family if you'll let us help,” he said.

“Ring us and we can help in any way we can. We love and miss you and just want to know you are safe and well.”

“If you don't want to come back to Yarmouth or contact us please go the local police where you are and let them know you're OK,” said his father.

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