Two men appeared in court today in connection with the murder of 15-year-old Paige Chivers, who disappeared from her home in Bispham, Blackpool, in August 2007 after a fight with her father.
Robert Ewing, 59, was charged with murder and intending to pervert the course of justice.
Gareth Dewhurst, 45, was charged with assisting an offender and intending to pervert the course of justice. Furthermore, he was charged with sexual penetration of a corpse.
It is not clear how authorities can know that a corpse was sexually penetrated if no body was ever found, but that is expected to be announced at an upcoming hearing.
The defense for both defendants—both of whom are from Blackpool—told the court that their clients would be denying all the charges against them.
Ewing and Dewhurst are set to appear at Preston crown court next Monday.
Since Chivers’ disappearance, there have been no corroborated sightings of her, and her body has never been found.
In addition to their daughter’s mysterious disappearance, the Chivers family history has been filled with other tragedies, too: Paige’s mother, 48-year-old Sheila, died from a heart attack six months before Paige disappeared. And in August of last year, Paige’s father, 49-year-old Frank, was murdered: he died from head injuries after being attacked during a row at his flat.
Since Paige’s disappearance, four people have been arrested on suspicion of her murder; they have all been released without charge.
As reported by Mirror, the Paige Chivers inquiry remains the most heavily resourced major investigation in Lancashire Police history. More than 2,800 people have been spoken to as part of the inquiry; more than 1,200 statements have been taken.
In June, police received new information and searched land near the area where Paige was last seen; nothing was found.