Brother Of David Spencer Who Disappeared 25 Years Ago Digs For Remains After Tip-Off
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The brother of David Spencer, who disappeared 25 years ago, has restarted the search for his remains after receiving a tip-off. Watch the video from the dig below:
Lee O'Toole, who was just nine when David, 13, vanished with 11-year-old friend Patrick 'Paddy' Warren, has been joined by a group of volunteers digging on land off Damson Wood Lane, near Solihull Moors FC, West Midlands.
Hundreds of people started working at the site on Monday (28 June) after organisers said they received 'credible' new information following a recent Channel 4 programme about the case.
Speaking about the new lead, 34-year-old Lee said: "The community is doing what the police should do.
"A man contacted me directly to say he had seen a man digging in a field off Damson Wood Lane, near Solihull Moors Football Club, at the time they disappeared.
"Apparently he's been telling the police for years and they've never acted on it.
"I don't know what more police need. They've left me no choice other than to put the shovel in the ground."
David and Patrick were playing in Chelmsley Wood, Birmingham, when they went missing on Boxing Day, 1996.
At first, police treated it as a runaway case, claiming there was no evidence to suggest anything sinister had happened to the pair, who later became known as the Milk Carton Kids.
To this day, neither of the bodies of the two boys has been found.
But new interest in the case has been sparked following the Channel 4 documentary In the Footsteps of Killers, which claimed child murderer Brian Field had been seen with the boys in the days before they vanished.
Lee and his team are now working tirelessly to find the remains of David.
In a post to Facebook, one of the volunteers wrote: "We have been tipped off, due to the documentary, someone has come forward and told us that this place cannot go unlooked.
"We're going to be here every single day. We are at the back of the 3G football pitch at Solihull Moors exactly at the half-way line."
Adding: "Everyone deserves justice. Please repost this. We need people to come here. Bring your shovels and machinery. We need your help."
However, West Midlands Police, who said they are still investigating the case, have urged people to stay away from the dig.
A spokesperson for the force said: "We recognise and sympathise with the strong sense of feeling surrounding the disappearance of Patrick Warren and David Spencer in 1996.
"It's highly emotive for their families, friends and the wider community.
"We understand there are many frustrations and a lack of trust around our initial investigation and the many reviews we've carried out since.
"We also know a group has been set up encouraging people to take matters into their own hands and dig at the back of a football ground in Damson Wood Lane.
"We'd urge people not to do this. Searching should be left to us and is based on areas of interest, we use trained specialist experts who are able to preserve any evidence that may be found.
"We're in touch with the Spencer family, and others, who are providing new information."
It is not the first time land near the football club has been searched for the two boys."
Over the years, police have followed a number of leads regarding the case, with a 37-year-old man arrested in 2003 in connection with the disappearances.
And following a review of the case in 2006, when police said they were 'closer than ever' to solving the mystery, paedophile Brian Field was interviewed by cops.
However, he denied any involvement.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS
Topics: Police, Children, missing, TV and Film, crime, Documentary