Lana Purcell’s family pleads with criminal ‘underworld’ to help solve disappearance
16:55 17 January 2013
The family of a missing mother is pleading with members of the criminal “underworld” to come forward and help solve her mysterious disappearance, two years after she was last seen.
Lana Purcell, who would now be 28, was last sighted at 11.30pm on January 17, 2011 at the family home in Wellesley Road, Queen’s Crescent.
She has had no contact with her family or eight-year-old daughter since that day, and officers have made no progress in tracing her whereabouts.
Although detectives say there is no evidence to suggest Lana has been murdered, the family fear the worst.
Sister Davina Purcell said: “We are hoping (she’s still alive), but the longer it goes on, you lose hope. It’s been a long time.
“She was my little sister, she was my best friend when we were little.
“I am concerned how I am going to tell her little girl and how it will affect her.”
Before Lana’s disappearance, her life had spiralled out of control.
Her well-kept bedsit in Agar Grove, Camden Town, gave no clue to her “chaotic lifestyle”.
What started out as a dalliance with crack cocaine led to a heroin addiction, and landed Lana in a rehab clinic twice and in the dock a dozen times for shoplifting to feed her habit.
Lana, who grew up in Camden Town, was cautioned for prostitution in the lead up to her disappearance.
Her older sister Davina, who still lives in Camden and looks after Lana’s daughter, said: “It’s the lifestyle she led which was what I think caused her to disappear.
“I don’t think she has done it by choice. You couldn’t keep her away from the house (before), it was almost a nuisance.”
Police are appealing to those in the criminal fraternity who knew Lana to come forward and speak to police in confidence.
Detective Dave Snowdon said: “These are the people with the answers.
“Lana’s family have not got the answers, but these people that Lana was associated with, those people involved with drugs, prostitution and the underworld might.”
Despite several reported sightings of Lana, who could be using several aliases, in Camden and Westminster by those who know her, none has been confirmed.
She has claimed no benefits, her bank accounts have not been touched and records show her phone has not been used.
Today (Thursday, January 17), on the second anniversary of Lana’s disappearance, officers handed out leaflets in the Queen’s Crescent area where Lana was well known.
Detectives have also pledged to review old case files.
Sister Davina, 30, said: “I just want to know if she is alive or dead. It’s just not knowing.
“I suppose I just want her to come home.”
Lana is 5ft 3in tall, white, of slim build, with dark brown hair.
Anyone with information is asked to call Camden’s missing persons unit on 020 8733 6591, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.