A UK mother is taking legal action against the police, alleging mishandling of her missing teenager’s case.
Charlene Downes vanished on November 1, 2003, at the age of 14, and her body has never been located. Her mother, Karen Downes, is pursuing a lawsuit against Lancashire Police, claiming they mismanaged the investigation.
The core of Karen’s complaint revolves around the delayed release of surveillance footage of her daughter on the day of her disappearance. This crucial video, recorded 13 years before its disclosure in 2016, is believed by Karen to hold potential clues to solving the case.
According to Karen, the footage depicts Charlene in town on the afternoon she went missing, wearing the same clothes she was last seen in. In the video, Charlene and her sister, Rebecca, can be seen heading toward an amusement arcade in Blackpool.
Charlene returned to the area later that night and was never seen again. Karen insists that had this footage been released earlier, it might have aided in solving the mystery surrounding her daughter’s disappearance.
Karen emphasizes that her pursuit of legal action is not driven by monetary concerns but rather by a desire to hold the police accountable and compel them to improve their investigative efforts.
Any compensation awarded to her would be dedicated to establishing a memorial for Charlene. Despite years having passed since Charlene’s disappearance, no charges have been filed, and no one has been convicted in connection with the case.
Karen has received no communication from the police for an extended period and only learned about the video’s existence through a friend, as the police did not inform her about it. The anguish of not knowing her daughter’s fate has been an enduring hardship for Karen.