British police are set to search a cemetery in Gibraltar for a missing Royal ...

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British police are set to search a cemetery in Gibraltar for a missing 18-year-old Royal Navy sailor who vanished 30 years ago.

Simon Parkes, from Bristol, was last seen in December 1986 when aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious, which he was serving on, docked at the British overseas territory. 

The radio operator's disappearance has previously been part of investigations into serial killer Allan Grimson, a former petty officer. 

He was jailed for 22 years in 2001, then aged 42, for the murder of 18-year-old naval rating Nicholas Wright, from Leicestershire, and 20-year-old barman Sion Jenkins, from Newbury, Berkshire.

Grimson has always denied being involved in the disappearance of Mr Parkes.

Hampshire constabulary has flown a team, including forensic experts, to Gibraltar to undertake a week-long search at Trafalgar cemetery after it received new evidence

Hampshire constabulary has flown a team, including forensic experts, to Gibraltar to undertake a week-long search at Trafalgar cemetery after it received new evidence

Simon Parkes, 18, worked as a radio operator on board the HMS Illustrious

Mr Parkes, pictured in his school uniform, has not been seen since he left the boat in December 1986

Simon Parkes, 18, vanished after he disembarked HMS Illustrious when it docked at the rock in December 1986. (Pictured: Mr Parkes wearing his naval uniform and in his school uniform)

Detective Inspector Roger Wood, from Hampshire constabulary's major crime investigation team, said the force had received new and 'credible' evidence earlier this year.

'We believe this new information is credible and gives us an opportunity to find out once and for all what has happened to Simon', he said.

'We have a duty to the public and to Simon's parents to follow up this new lead and see what comes from it.'

A specialist team including forensic experts has flown out to Gibraltar to carry out a week-long search for the youngster's remains at Trafalgar Cemetery. 

His mother Margaret Parkes, pictured with husband David and holding a photograph of their son, said in a heartbreaking statement that it would 'mean the world to us if we could finally bring Simon home'

His mother Margaret Parkes, pictured with husband David and holding a photograph of their son, said in a heartbreaking statement that it would 'mean the world to us if we could finally bring Simon home'

Mr Parkes had been working on HMS Illustrious, pictured docked in Portsmouth in 2007

Mr Parkes had been working on HMS Illustrious, pictured docked in Portsmouth in 2007

Mr Parkes' mother, Margaret Parkes, said in a heartbreaking statement that 'it would mean the world to us if we could finally bring Simon home'. 

'After all this time we did not think that we would get another chance to find out what happened to Simon, so we are very grateful to the police for this', she said.

'We know there's a chance we won't get the answers we so desperately want but it would mean the world to us if we could finally bring Simon home.'

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