Nicola Ray: Missing, believed Murdered (2000)


On the 2nd of May 2000, Nicola Ray (30) was last seen as she parted ways with her friend after having some drinks in a pub in Basildon, Essex. Nicola (a mother of two) had gone to the Moon on the Square pub with her close friend Loretta Kenny (43) and the two had gone back to Loretta's house in the early hours. Nicola left to walk less than a mile back to her own house in Voysey Gardens, where she lived with her fiance Timothy Barnes (29). The couple was due to be married in August.


Nicola, who worked as a Barmaid, had two daughters who never heard from her again after the 2nd of May. Timothy Barnes (an Engineer) has been arrested twice by Police but has never been charged, and police said in 2010 that no further action would be taken against him. A number of searches and digs have been performed in the area, including at the property the couple shared where Barnes still lived in 2010, but nothing has been found.


Police used ground-penetrating radar and looked for areas on the property (including his garage) where a disturbance might be found.


Nicola’s mum Janet Judd said in 2010, “It is disappointing we still haven’t got an answer about what happened or any closure. I’m pleased the police did what they did. At least they were trying to help."


Unfortunately, very little has been released about who Nicola was as a person, or what her relationship with Timothy was like. We also don't know who reported her missing, and whether her children lived at their address. We can assume that police had reason to suspect Timothy, given that he was first arrested in 2001 and again in 2010. However, no information has been given as to why he was a suspect.