AN investigation into the disappearance of a dad of three has been taken on by town detectives after a top cop handed over the lead role in the case.
Officers from Hartlepool CID will now lead the investigation into the disappearance of Darren Waller, with Detective Superintendent Gordon Lang moving away from the lead role.
Detective Superintendent Lang, who is Cleveland Police’s senior investigating officer, was drafted in to take the case forward in February and has directed officers to conduct several searches of the town, including around Crimdon Dene, the town centre area, at a caravan storage unit, and the former Steetley site.
Officers in Hartlepool, many who have assisted Det Supt Lang on the case, will continue to explore any new information that is given to police and are committed to finding Darren safe and well.
Work will continue on the investigation, with officers hoping that a national appeal due to air next month on the BBC will bring new information.
Det Supt Lang said: “Since Darren was last seen, we have spoken to many of his family and friends, conducted numerous searches and continually appealed to the wider public to come forward with any information on his whereabouts.
“My handing over of the case in no way reflects a change in how seriously we are taking the investigation.
“We have and still do want to bring a resolution to this for the family.
“The investigation will remain open and officers will be directed by new leads and information that comes in, and I am confident that the team at Hartlepool are more than capable of taking this forward.
“I will still be in the background and if I need to assist in any part of the investigation, then I will.
“I am confident that we have done everything possible at this stage to locate Darren and provide support to the family, scores of officers have been involved in searches and we have continued to raise awareness of the case.”
Anyone with information on Darren’s whereabouts can contact Hartlepool CID on (01642) 326326.