Answers to missing landlady’s fate “lie in Ely”, police say

Answers to missing landlady’s fate “lie in Ely”, police say

Two decades after an Ely landlady disappeared without trace, police hope members of the public will help them solve the tragic mystery and find closure for her family.

Those in charge of investigating the case believe Deborah Steel was murdered – and that someone in Ely holds the answers.

The former Royal Standard landlady was last seen at around 1am on December 28, 1997.
Despite a thorough police investigation at the time, Deborah could not be found.

Case re-opened
In 2014 the case was re-opened and Deborah’s half-sister Virginia Secker appealed for information.
As part of the investigation officers excavated areas inside and outside the Royal Standard and her home in Longfields.
Three men were arrested but released with no further action taken and detectives were still no closer to finding Deborah.
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Answers “lie in Ely”
DCI Adam Gallop, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said: “I believe Deborah was murdered and I am convinced the answers to what happened to her lie in Ely.
“Somebody here knows what happened to her and can provide key information.
“I would like to speak to people who came forward before but maybe did not tell us everything they knew or people who have information about the case but didn’t want to talk to police at the time.”
All information would be treated in confidence, and could be left anonymously.
“Deborah has not been seen for 20 years and her parents died without knowing what happened to her. The rest of her family deserve to know what took place.”
Family devastated
Virginia, from Nottingham, said: “Debbie has been missing for 20 years and I still have no idea what happened to her.
“I knew the first few weeks after her disappearance that she was no longer of this world because I hadn’t heard from her.
“It’s very sad that our father went to his grave without laying Debbie to rest.
“Someone knows about her fate.
“Please, if you know anything, no matter how insignificant you think it is, please tell the police.”
Anyone with information regarding Deborah’s disappearance should call police on 101 or report it online.
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111 or via

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