April FABB was born on 22 April 1955 in Metton, Norfolk. She lived at 3 Council Houses, with her father Ernest, her mother Olive and her older sister. She had another older sister who lived with her husband on Cromer Road in Roughton.
At about 1:40pm on Tuesday 8 April 1969, April left her home to visit her sister in Roughton. She had a packet of 10 cigarettes, 5 ½d and a handkerchief in the saddlebag of her bicycle. She was going to give the cigarettes to her brother in law for his birthday. She was wearing a wine coloured woollen skirt, a green jumper, a pair of long white socks and a pair of wooden soled sandals with red straps and brass buckles.
Shortly after leaving home she met two friends at the “Donkey Field” next to Harrison’s Farm on Cromer Road in Metton. After ten minutes she left stating she was on her way to her sister’s. Just after 2pm, an employee at Harrison’s Farm saw April riding her cycle along Roughton Road, Metton in the direction of Roughton. This was the last known sighting of April.
Roughton Road, Metton, where April was last seen
At about 2:15pm Ordinance Survey workers in a van saw April’s bicycle lying in a field on the Metton to Roughton Road just a few hundred yards from where she was last seen. April had disappeared within a time frame of no longer than ten minutes.
Where April’s bicycle was found
At about 3pm the same day, a local man was driving his mother home when he saw April’s bicycle in the field. He took it to the Police House at Roughton where he handed it to the village PC. The cigarettes, moneyand handkerchief were still in the saddlebag.
It became apparent later that evening that April was missing when her mother realised she never reached her sister’s house in Roughton. By the following morning a fullscale enquiry was under way.
A 2 – 3 mile area was searched and enquiries made with her family and friends. The enquiry was extremely thorough with 1971 statements taken and 419 House to House questionnaires completed.
Although numerous lines of enquiry were pursued April has never been seen since and a number of potential suspects have been eliminated as the result of the investigation.
Why has the case been looked at again?
This case has never been closed and is Norfolk’s most well known Missing Persons enquiry. Over the years since April disappeared, new information from the public has regularly been investigated. This case will never be officially closed until April’s location is discovered and any subsequent investigation has reached a conclusion.
In 1997 the Royal Air Force used thermal imaging cameras to locate ground disturbances since April’s disappearance, but nothing was found.
Following information supplied in 2009, in January 2010 the site of an old well was excavated in the locality from where April disappeared. Again the result was negative.
In 2010 a team of forensic anthropologists have started a project using GIS mapping technology to ascertain if it can help with locating April’s location. This project is likely to be long term and results are not expected in the near future.