Posted on Friday 24 March 2023
Detectives investigating the suspected murder of a former miner are marking the 21st anniversary of his disappearance with a fresh appeal for information.
Edward Donnelly vanished from his home in Sacriston in 2002. The 53-year-old was last seen walking alone beside the A167 near the Red Lion pub at Plawsworth at approximately 12.45pm on March 25, 2002.
Police suspect that he was murdered but, despite exhaustive enquiries over the years, including extensive searches around abandoned mineworkings and woodland in the area, his body has never been found.
This morning, we launched a fresh appeal on BBC1’s Crimewatch Live in the hope that, 21 years after he was last seen alive, witnesses will come forward with the crucial information needed to solve the case.
Officers have also set up a special web portal to allow members of the public to leave information of use to the inquiry.
Detective Superintendent Lee Gosling, from Durham Constabulary, said: “It is 21 years since Edward’s disappearance, but we remain convinced that someone out there knows what happened to him.
“Over time, allegiances and circumstances change and it is possible that a witness who was unwilling to come forward or was afraid to come forward is now able to do so.
“Edward Donnelly was a quiet, unassuming man and his family deserve to know the truth about what happened to him."
Mr Donnelly shared a home with his sister in Fynway, Sacriston and she reported him missing on the same day.
D/Supt Gosling added: “We would ask anyone with information to come forward as a matter of urgency so that Eddie’s family and friends can have the closure they deserve.”
Anyone with information should contact investigators in confidence on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
They can also leave information on the Major Incident Public Portal here: https://mipp.police.uk/operation/11HQ020105Q12-PO1