Murder hunt for missing father draws near town

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SPECIALIST search teams hunting for the body of Gary Hampson as part of a murder investigation say they are confident of finding the missing father.

The search for Mr Hampson has entered its third week with officers now focusing on the area north of Cowfold along the ‘A281 corridor’ to the Sussex/Surrey border at sites including Rudgwick, Mannings Heath, Maplehurst and Nuthurst.

Teams had previously combed 16 sites - including Wineham, Cowfold, Henfield, Bolney, Ashurst and Dial Post - in a bid to find Mr Hampson, 42, from Portslade.

Search manager Robin Haynes said: “I’d say there’s every likelihood we will find him.”

He told the County Times he had been carrying out searches for more than 32 years and had only two people still outstanding.

“To me I’ll just keep working and working until I run out of all my options or I’m taken off the case.

“Eventually we will narrow the field down and I’m confident we will recover Mr Hampson.

“This is a very long and protracted search and getting resources is always difficult in this day and age but we do what we can with what we’ve got.

“We have got to think about another 20 possible sites. You’re talking about trebling the physical search area.”

Mr Haynes, who has eight specialist officers per day looking for Mr Hampson’s body, said he expected to be searching well into next week at the sites.

Mr Hampson was last seen on Thursday January 6 after dropping his ten-year-old daughter off at school.

Detectives launched the murder investigation, following the discovery of his blood at the garage he managed in Little Western Street, Brighton.

Detectives are appealing for customers of Kops Cars to contact them.

Detective Chief Inspector Jeff Riley said: “I am appealing for the owners of cars that were left at the garage during January this year to make contact with us. We have identified a number of vehicles and already spoken to the owners, but we are particularly interested in tracing a red Ford Mondeo that was seen at the garage during January.

Daniel Alexander, 61, of no fixed address, has been charged with murder and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Roy Bartup, 57, of Natal Road, Brighton, has been charged with conspiring to pervert the course of justice. Both men will appear at Lewes Crown Court on July 29.

Three Brighton residents - a 66-year-old woman and two men aged 48 and 25 - have been arrested in connection with the incident but all have been released on bail until next month.

Anyone with information about the case should contact Sussex Police on 0845 60 70 999 quoting Operation Jubilee. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.