Gary Hampson Brighton murder probe police seeking van

Gary Hampson
Image caption Gary Hampson was last seen collecting his daughter from school in January

Detectives searching for a missing father from Brighton are trying to trace a distinctive van.

Gary Hampson, 42, of Portslade, has not been seen since picking his 10-year-old daughter up from school on 6 January.

The light blue Ford Escort van had been converted into a disabled vehicle and belongs to a customer of the garage where he worked.

Daniel Alexander, 61, of no fixed address, appeared in court on Wednesday charged with Mr Hampson's murder.

He is also charged with robbery, attempted robbery, causing grievous bodily harm and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

The robbery charges relate to incidents in Brighton on 19 and 21 January this year, Sussex Police said.

Image caption Sussex Police said the Ford Escort van had not been returned to its rightful owner

Mr Alexander appeared before Brighton Magistrates' Court along with Roy Bartup, 57, of Natal Road, Brighton, who is charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Both men were remanded in custody and are due before Lewes Crown Court on Thursday.

Detectives said the van they were searching for had been left in the Kops Cars garage, in Little Western Street, Brighton - which Mr Hampson managed - for repair in late December.

It was photographed by traffic wardens in Cross Street, which intersects with Little Western Street, on New Year's Eve.

When a warden returned on 12 January the van was no longer there.

Det Ch Insp Jeff Riley, from Sussex Police, said the van had not been returned to its rightful owner, and officers had been unable to trace it.

Detectives have been conducting a murder investigation following the discovery of Mr Hampson's blood at the garage.

On Wednesday, they began searches for his body along the A23 corridor.

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