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LBU will essentially act as a hub for Yorkshire, also attracting specialists from their local communities to work in collaboration with students and Locate International to progress the cold cases.

This model has already begun with students from the University of South Wales (USW) and the University of Central Lancashire.

One of the cases that USW students are reviewing is the disappearance of Damien Nettles, who was last seen in Cowes on the Isle of Wight in November 1996 when he was 16 years old.

Dave Grimstead, Co-Founder at Locate International, said:

“A year ago, we listened to Kirsty Bennett’s presentation about years of research on unsolved missing person cases at the International Conference on Missing Children and Adults.

“The conference inspired us to find a way for teams of students to take on real world challenges working side by side with specialists on unsolved missing people cases.

“Locate International have worked with a small group of universities to develop a model to provide support for investigations of long term unsolved missing people cases, for both families and police.

It is a real privilege for us to collaborate with Kirsty and Leeds Beckett University to turn research into action that is of real value to the public.

Dave Grimstead Co-Founder at Locate International