Luke Durbin: Missing, likely murdered (2006)


Luke Durbin (19) disappeared on a night out with friends in Ipswich, Suffolk, On 11th May 2006. Earlier that day Luke had finished work at a greengrocers in Aldeburgh, then according to Police he went on to do a drug deal in Woodbridge before meeting up with his friends, Alex and Zach.


The trio drank in pubs, took cocaine and then went clubbing in Ipswich. Luke then left the nightclub alone and tried and failed to get a taxi home because he had left his phones, keys and wallet at his friend's house. Luke was last captured on CCTV at 04:00 BST in Dogs Head Street, heading towards the bus station.


There has also been a report of Luke being seen in Woodbridge in a dark blue Renault Megane car being driven by a black man. This was between 11am and 2pm on Saturday May 13th near to the entrance to the Turban Centre car park on Quay Side.

 

The Investigation


Luke was reported missing on Saturday afternoon, May 13th, after he failed to return home.

From the start police were concerned for his welfare. It was very out of character for him to go missing and be out of touch with his mum and sister. Police enquiries over the weeks that followed encompassed searches on foot, with the force helicopter and the dog unit.


It was discovered during the investigation that Luke had been involved with drug dealing, and that he may have owed a larget debt to a County Lines gang. A county lines gang operates in large cities like London, but employ young men from rural areas to spread drugs out of cities. Retired Det Ch Insp John Brocklebank, who worked on the case, said: "Having a debt within a network we would now call county lines has consequences."


Mr Brocklebank said he believed a Volvo caught on a nearby CCTV cameras that night was connected to the "drugs fraternity" and possibly to Murbin's disappearance. Two people were arrested on suspicion of murder in 2012 and released without charge, and in 2014 a bone found in Ufford was revealed to be not from Luke but from a deer.


 

Theories


The tragic accepted theory in this case is that Luke owed money to a County Lines network and was picked up, murdered, and his body was disposed of. Whether or not the perpetraters were actively looking for Luke that night, or happened upon him as he tried to walk home - is unknown.


It seems sadly that the best way of solving this case is to find Luke's remains, or to rely on a witness coming forward.