Mark Manning murder: Police search Worthing park and lake

Fire crews search the lake at Brooklands Pleasure Park, Worthing, for the body of missing man Mark Manning Image copyright Eddie Mitchell
Image caption Fire crews searched the lake in Worthing while police focused on surrounding parkland

Police investigating the murder of a man missing from his West Sussex home for more than a year are searching a lake and parkland following a tip-off.

Mark Manning, 54, of Brighton Road, Lancing, was last seen on 19 April 2014 and reported missing three days later.

Sussex Police made an appeal for information on the first anniversary of the disappearance of the former military bomb disposal expert.

As a result, they have begun searching Brooklands Pleasure Park in Worthing.

Search dogs

Det Ch Insp Mike Ashcroft said: "Following anonymous information to Crimestoppers that Mark has been murdered, we are today searching the lake and the grounds of Brooklands Pleasure Park in Worthing with the aim of finding Mark or to eliminate the area from our inquiry."

Mr Manning's disappearance was always considered out of character, and last June detectives launched a murder investigation.

Police said extensive inquiries had shown that the father of one had not withdrawn any money or used his mobile phone since he was last seen, when a friend dropped him off at Worthing railway station.

They said he had not turned up for pre-arranged appointments and meetings, and there had been no reported sightings of him.

Image copyright PA/Sussex Police
Image caption Mark Manning was last seen when a friend dropped him off at Worthing railway station

But his body has never been found.

This week they issued a renewed appeal for information, and despite the major development, they are keen to hear from anyone else with information.

Det Ch Insp Ashcroft added: "After a year, Mark's family are desperate to hear any news of him and they need answers. I am convinced that there are people in this community who know what has happened to Mark."

Specially trained officers with dogs have been searching the grounds of Brooklands, and a crew from West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service have been searching the eight-acre lake.

Image copyright Eddie Mitchell
Image caption Police never found the body of Mr Manning, who was last seen on 19 April 2014

The park, run by Adur and Worthing Councils, is close to the seafront where Worthing borders Lancing - where Mr Manning lived alone.

He is described as white, 5ft 9in (1.75m) tall, clean-shaven, with a tanned complexion and of a stocky build. He has blue eyes and is bald.

He worked for the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), a charity that removes landmines and other dangers in some of the world's poorest countries.

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