Facebook Pixel

Family reunited after nearly 30 years following missing person investigation

24 December 2020
A family who lived in Bournemouth nearly 30 years ago has been reunited following a missing person investigation.

On Friday 27 December 2019 a 54-year-old woman was reported missing by her son. Lee-Tracey Miley was last known to have lived in Bournemouth in July 1991, but her children had not seen or heard from her since that time.

The children had tried through their own means to locate their mother, but these proved unsuccessful. Inconsistent comments the children had heard over the years culminated in the son reporting her missing to Dorset Police.

An investigation was launched led by detectives from Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team (MCIT).

It was reported that Lee-Tracey went to live in Cyprus after leaving Bournemouth in 1991, but there was little other information known for detectives to start their enquiries.

In January 2020 a request was made to the Department for Work and Pensions to enquire if the missing woman was in receipt of any benefits to establish if she was still living in the United Kingdom.

This enquiry led to information that Lee-Tracey was living in London in 2003, however checks were carried out at known addresses and local authorities in the area, which proved to be negative. 

Further enquiries were made by Metropolitan Police in London, but officers were unable to find any known associates of the missing woman.

As the investigation continued, detectives liaised with HM Passports to find out if Lee-Tracey has held a UK passport. They also made enquiries with E-boarders, but their records could not provide any leads.

A request was also made with the International Crime Coordination Centre following information that the missing woman may have applied for a Visa to enter the United States of America. 

In July 2020 detectives received confirmation that Lee-Tracey was issued with a passport in May 2003, which later expired in 2013 and was not renewed. 

They subsequently identified who signed the missing woman’s passport photograph in September 2020 and attempts were made to contact this individual, however very sadly they had passed away the week before officers received this information.

The following month in October 2020 Interpol enquiries confirmed that Lee-Tracey had entered the USA on 12 May 2004, with a possible match now residing in Arizona.

Officers from the local police force in Arizona carried out an address check and Lee-Tracey was found to be living there safe and well.

Lee-Tracey left in 1991 and went on holiday to Egypt. She later went to Cyprus and was sadly involved in a road traffic collision that left her in a coma with no recollection of her life before. Eventually she relocated to the USA and tried herself to locate her family, but this was unsuccessful as they had since moved a number of times.

On Friday 30 October 2020 Lee-Tracey’s son was updated with the news that his mother was living in Arizona. They have since been in regular contact.

Detective Inspector Wayne Seymour, of MCIT, said: “I am really pleased that through our investigation we were able to reunite a mother with her children after almost 30 years.

“This was a detailed and extensive investigation that involved a lot of multi-agency working and I would like to thank everyone for their efforts.

“We were faced with a number of challenges throughout, but we remained determined and always found a new line of enquiry to investigate, which thankfully led to finding Lee-Tracey.” 

Christina Summons, daughter of Lee-Tracey Miley, said: “Words cannot express my gratitude for those involved in trying to locate my mum and reunite us as a family.

“After years of searching I had started to give up hope of ever having my mother in my life so I will always be thankful for the investigative efforts of Dorset MCIT. 

“Growing up as a girl without a mum has been difficult in so many ways, especially after having my own four children. They now have a Grandma and although the distance between us means we are unable to actually meet, we will not give up hope. 

“I have set up a fundraiser in the hope that we can finally close that distance. I look forward to being able to hug my mum, brother and sister and for her to meet her grandchildren.

“So once again, a massive thank you to Dorset Police for giving us hope and a new future.”

Craig Miley, son of Lee-Tracey Miley, said: “Dorset MCIT have been amazing throughout. I came to them with a genuine concern for the welfare of our mother who hadn't been seen or heard from in almost 30 years (not even a trace). 

“The team picked up the case and were relentless in their search. No stone was left unturned and they constantly kept me up to date on a regular basis even through a lockdown period. The team were extremely professional and had real empathy towards myself and my family. 

“I spent many years searching and even tried using a TV crew to find our mother. 

“The MCIT are a credit to Dorset Police and good news stories like this need to be aired more often. 

“My family and I would like to say thank you to the whole team who helped and wish them all the best for the future.”

Filter by category

Filter by date

News archive FOI disclosure log

Media / Journalists

If you are an accredited journalist or member of the media, please click here for information about how to contact our News Team. They don’t handle other enquiries, but members of the public can contact us in many other way by clicking here.