Over the last few months, officers have been reviewing leads and speaking to local people as they continue to investigate what happened to Lana Purcell , who went missing aged 27 in January 2011.
Officers will be in the vicinity of Agar Grove NW1, and the Kentish Town area where Lana lived, between Monday, 14 and Wednesday, 16 September to dispense leaflets and appeal to members of the public to come forward with information.
Lana was known as a family-oriented person who was mother to her then six-year-old daughter, Megan. Lana has been described as someone who was cheerful and outgoing, but who had her routines and would keep in daily phone contact with her family.
The last confirmed sighting is believed to be on or about Monday, 17 January 2011 around Wellesley Road, NW5. Officers believe Lana may have been heading to the West End/Soho area. It is known that at the time she went missing, Lana was involved in drugs and was working as a sex worker to support herself.
Lana was reported missing after five days to Camden police who looked into her disappearance. Their investigation followed up on a number of sightings from people who claimed to have seen her in north London after she was reported missing, interviewed large numbers of people, made witness appeals and seized and viewed hours of CCTV footage.
The initial missing person’s report into Lana’s disappearance was later handed to the then Homicide and Major Crime Command after it was feared Lana had come to harm.
Detective Inspector Mike Stubbins, Specialist Crime, is one of the lead investigators. He said: “Though nearly 10 years have passed, our determination to find out what happened to Lana remains undiminished.
“Her family have had to endure 10 years of torment. Her daughter, Megan, who was aged just six at the time of her disappearance and is now 15, has grown up without her mother. We owe it to her and all of Lana’s family to find out what happened and if she has come to harm, to find those responsible and bring them to justice.
“I am very confident that there will be people who know full well what happened to Lana but have not yet spoken to us. But during my time in the police service I have seen many examples of years passing and then eventually the crucial piece of information we need is given that allows us to solve a case. People change, allegiances change, or people who were once frightened of what they think might happen if they spoke to the police, eventually do speak to us in the strictest of confidence. And I believe that can and will happen with Lana’s case.
“There is now a reward of £20,000 on offer to the person who can give us that vital piece of information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator(s), or to Lana’s whereabouts. That could be a life-changing sum to someone, but I know Lana’s family would give everything they have to know what has happened to her and find peace.
“We are looking at all the information we have and speaking to people who we know were acquainted with Lana in the area where she lived and worked, to not only go over old ground but break new ground too.
“I encourage anyone who has information to speak to our officers during our leaflet drop in the area between September 14th and 16th. Or you can call our incident room on 0208 345 1570 quoting Operation Kagal and my officers will speak to you in the strictest of confidence.”
Lana’s father, John, said: “I am pleading to anyone who has any information concerning Lana’s whereabouts or anyone that knows anything regarding the circumstances of Lana’s disappearance to please help us.
“We as a family and myself as Lana’s father are so desperate to find out what has happened to our Lana. This has devastated us as a family and torn our lives apart.
“The police have put up a £20,000 reward to find where Lana is or what has happened to her. If anybody who knew Lana and knows anything at all that can help bring my daughter back home to us please, please call the number provided.”
Anyone with information into the disappearance of Lana Purcell is asked to call the incident room on 020 8345 1570, or 101 quoting Op Kagal.