Detectives investigating the murder of a 23-year-old man who went missing 28 years ago have released footage of him in an effort to find his killers.
Steven Clark, from Marske-by-the-Sea, Cleveland, was said to have gone missing during a family walk on December 28, 1992.
A cold case review led detectives to suspect he had been murdered, and earlier this year Mr Clark’s parents Doris, 81, and Charles, 78, were arrested and questioned over their son’s death. They have been released under investigation.
Mrs Clark denied the couple murdered their son, saying the situation was ‘absolutely ludicrous’ and the couple have vowed to clear their name.
Police have released footage of Steven Clark, 23, from Marske-by-the-Sea, Cleveland, who went missing on a family walk on December 28, 1992
Detectives from the Cleveland and North Yorkshire Cold Case Unit are now treating his disappearance as murder
Mr Clark’s elderly parents Doris and Charles Clark were arrested last month on suspicion of his murder. The couple have been released on bail and deny any wrongdoing
Now police have released footage of Mr Clark on the anniversary of when he went missing.
It is the first time that any film of Mr Clark has been released by detectives from the Cleveland and North Yorkshire Cold Case Unit, who announced a murder inquiry in September.
The short clip of Mr Clark was taken from a training video for the Redcar branch of the Rathbone Society charity in the 1990s.
It was last shown as part of two TV appeals about Mr Clark’s disappearance.
Mr Clark, who walked with a pronounced limp as a result of a childhood road accident, is said to have walked on the beach from Marske to Saltburn at around 3pm.
The missing persons report says that he went to use the gents’ public toilets near to the pier on the promenade in Saltburn, when his mother went into the ladies at the same time.
Officers said he was not seen coming out of the toilets and the report says that he did not return home.
The investigation team said it has had a positive response to the many public appeals for information and has released the footage in the hope that more people come forward.
Detective Chief Inspector Shaun Page said: ‘Steven had a distinctive walk as a result of a childhood road accident, and the footage shows his walk, and you also hear his voice when he is sat at a computer and speaking.
‘These clips were made public not long after he went missing, but we are releasing it as part of the new investigation in the hope that people who see it and come forward, if they haven’t spoken to us already.
The footage of Mr Clark was taken from a training video for the Redcar branch of the Rathbone Society charity in the 1990s
The force hope the clips, which are being released for the first time, will help find Mr Clark’s killers
‘This year, the bank holiday falls in exactly the same way as it did the year that Steven went missing and many beachgoers will walk around Saltburn as they did then.
‘The response from the public so far has been fantastic, but I would urge others to come forward if they haven’t spoken to us already.
‘Crimestoppers is offering a £10,000 reward in this case, and you can give information to them entirely anonymously.’
In November, detectives looking into the disappearance of Mr Clark released a distinctive handwritten letter which they hoped could unlock the key to his disappearance.
Investigating officers described the ‘precise’ hand-written note as a ‘significant’ development and said the anonymous writer seemed to have exact details about Mr Clark, who vanished in North Yorkshire.
Speaking at the time Det Chief Insp Shaun Page told The Mirror: ‘I believe the person who wrote the letter knew Steven was dead, and claims to know the person responsible.
Police were sent a letter reportedly naming Stephen Clark’s killer 21 years ago and their records show the letter was assessed by officers and the information was recorded
Detectives said they do not know if the writer of the letter was a man or a woman but hoped it could unlock the key to Mr Clark’s disappearance
‘It is very precise so is one of the key lines of inquiry in this investigation.’
Timeline of the investigation into Steven Clark’s disappearance
December 28, 1992: Steven Clark is seen going into the gents’ public toilets at 3pm in Saltburn, Cleveland, while his mother goes into the ladies.
When Steven doesn’t come out, his mother think he has made his own way home.
A new witness has placed Steven in Marske later that afternoon, before it got dark at 3.45pm.
September 1999: An anonymous letter was posted to Guisborough Police Station relating to Steven’s disappearance.
September 15, 2020: Following a cold case review, it is revealed that Steven’s elderly parents have been arrested on suspicion of his murder.
September 16, 2020: After being quizzed for six hours at the pollice station, Steven’s parents insist they did not kill their son.
September 17, 2020: Police investigating murder urge the writer of the anonymous letter in 1999 to make contact.
September 19, 2020: A tent is set up in at Doris and Charles Clark’s home as specialist officers begin investigations in the back garden of the couple’s home.
Police said their records showed the letter was assessed by officers and the information was recorded.
Detectives said they did not know if the writer of the letter was a man or a woman, but added the suspect may be well educated.
In October, cold case detectives and specialist officers relaunched the investigation and arrested Mr Clark’s parents on suspicion of murder.
Police were seen in the back garden of the couple’s Markse-by-the-Sea home, where a forensic tent was set up along with a cordon on an alleyway at the side of the house.
Five police cars and vans, a crime scene investigation vehicle and an incident command unit were also seen parked outside the semi-detached house.
Cleveland Police have also been contacted by a key witness who saw Mr Clark alive between 3-4pm on the day he disappeared.
The woman recognised him from the press coverage following the recent cold case review and came forward to say she saw Steven Clark in Marske late in the afternoon.
Cleveland Police said the development gave them ‘significant information’.
The force said the potential witness was out with her family and reported that Mr Clark passed them as they were walking on the High Street towards Marske square.
The man, believed to be Mr Clark, was walking in the opposite direction towards The Ship Inn, and it had not yet got dark.
The force said the woman saw the 1992 appeal for information about Steven’s whereabouts, and confirmed with her family that it was the missing 23-year-old who they had seen, but she did not think it was relevant to the case at that time.
Mr Clark walked with a pronounced limp as a result of a childhood road accident, which also left him with other disabilities.
At the time he disappeared, Mr Clark attended the Rathbone Society in Redcar, which worked with people with disabilities to improve their employment skills, and he had won the Apprentice of the Year Award.