Bail for man, 70, arrested on suspicion of murdering Ely landlady

09:31 03 September 2014

Police Search team at Longfields, Ely.Picture: Steve Williams.

Police Search team at Longfields, Ely.Picture: Steve Williams.


A man arrested on suspicion of the murder of a woman who disappeared in 1997 has been released on bail.

The arrest followed the re-opening of the case concerning Deborah Steel, former landlady of the Royal Standard Public House, in Ely, who disappeared on December 28, 1997.

The 70-year-old man, from Ely, was released on bail to return to Parkside Police Station on October 2.

His arrest, on Monday, followed the re-opening of the case concerning Ms Steel, who was last seen at around 1am.

DCI Martin Brunning, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire major crime unit, said: “I am convinced the answer to Deborah Steel’s disappearance lies in Ely and that there are people in the city who can provide key information.

“I am appealing to anyone who may be able provide fresh information on this case to contact us. All information will be treated in confidence, and can be left anonymously.

”Deborah has not been seen for 17 years and her family deserve to know what happened to her.”

Police spent all day on Monday searching an address at Longfields, Ely.

Anyone with any information should call 01480 425880 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

On the 10th anniversary of her disappearance in 2007, her former partner Brian McDermott said: “I’m reminded of Debbie constantly and still wonder what happened and why she went missing. It’s a limbo. I don’t know if she’s alive, but I do hope she is.

“I try to make sense of her disappearance, but we’re still looking for an answer. People ask about her and her dad visits from time to time and we talk, but none of us can come up with an answer.

“We’d just like to know what happened now.”

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