DOWNES Charlene Elizabeth Caroline
- Missing since: November 1, 2003
- Missing from: Blackpool, UK
On the early evening of November 1, 2003, Karen Downes, Charlene’s mother, was handing out flyers in front of an Indian restaurant in Church Street, Blackpool when she ran into her daughters Charlene and Rebecca. Rebecca returned home and Charlene was meeting some friends. Charlene called her friends from a local pay phone and waited with her mother Karen for the friends to arrive. Karen watched as the girls walked together toward Winter Gardens. That was the last time she saw her daughter.
The friends visited the Carousel Bar that evening. CCTV footage of Charlene along with an unknown woman in her 30’s with dyed blonde hair and a three-quarter coat was seen about 9pm at the intersection of Dickson Road and Talbot Road. According to Charlene’s friends, she and Charlene left the Carousel Bar and returned to the city center around 10 p.m. Her friend last saw Charlene around 11pm near Talbot Road and Abingdon Street.
After a witness came forward, several arrests were made. Including Iyad Albattikhi, a 29-year-old man from Jordan, owner of the fast-food restaurant “Funny Boyz” in Blackpool, and his business partner Mohammed Reveshi. According to the witness, girls would have regularly boarded Reveshi’s van. He also said he saw three young girls in Reveshi’s bed. One girl would have been barely 12 years old and one of the other girls would have been Charlene Downes. Later he saw Albattikhi and Reveshi taking away six garbage bags. Another witness said he saw two girls, barely 9 years old, watching soft porn at Reveshi’s home. According to Reveshi, this happened behind his back while he was busy elsewhere in the house.
Investigations also showed that there had been alterations to the house, including new floorboards and skirting boards. When the police searched Reveshi’s house, they found blood, but he claimed it belonged to his foster son’s girlfriend.
Further investigation revealed that as many as eleven employees of takeaway restaurants in the city center of Blackpool found guilty of recruiting dozens of white girls between the ages of 13 and 15. The girls were offered cigarettes, food and alcohol in exchange for sex. As a result, the case received a lot of media attention because Blackpool was suddenly known as the city of “Child grooming”.
According to the police report, Charlene had been sexually abused by as many as 100 different men in the run-up to her death. In 2007, Iyad Albattikhi and Mohammed Reveshi were charged with murder and disposing of her corpse. There is a strong suspicion that Charlene’s body was dismembered and covered in kebabs. The jury did not reach a verdict. At the retrial in April 2008, the two defendants were released due to lack and errors in the evidence. Both defendants later received six-figure compensation sums for false imprisonment.
In 2011, Albattikhi was convicted of assault after headbutting an 18-year-old woman.
- Race: Caucasian
- Gender: Female
- Age: 14
- Height: 155 cm
- Weight: Slim build
- Eye Color: Blue
- Hair Color: Brown, straight shoulder-length
- Distinguishing Marks: Unknown
- Clothing: Black jeans with a gold-eagle design on the front, a black jumper with a white-diamond pattern, and black boots. She may also have been wearing a white cardigan or top with a hood.
- Jewelry: Unknown
- Personal Items: Unknown
- Dentals: Unknown
- Fingerprints: Unknown
- DNA: Unknown
If you have any information please contact
- Agency: Interpol
- Phone Number: Unknown
- E-mail: Unknown
- Case Number: Unknown
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