Cold Case: A murder without a body

Harry Baines had no reason to disappear, no reason to leave his family, no reason to severe all ties with the world. Detectives believe he did not make such a choice when he vanished in Fleetwood in February 1989: they believe he was murdered.

All this week Granada Reports is re-examining a number of "cold cases" - unsolved murders where police investigations have stalled. In the second such case, our correspondent Rob Smith has spoken to Harry's family, who have waited 24 years for an answer.

Police dug-up the cellar in Harry's old home, but found nothing Credit: ITV

Police made a number of arrests, and even dug-up the cellar in Harry's old home - hoping to find his remains. No trace of him was found. No-one was ever charged.

Harry's daughter, Amanda, says she is going through a "continuous grieving process". She told us that she imagines "scenarios" of how he may have died, worrying whether he suffered or not. In our report, Amanda reads a letter she wrote to her father after his disappearance and assures him: "I will never forget you."

Harry's daughter Amanda reads a moving letter she wrote after he vanished Credit: ITV

Harry was an odd-job man, well known in the port he called home. His passion for playing snooker put him in front of hundreds of people in clubs and pubs. The last place he was seen in public was Fleetwood's Ship Inn, which has now been converted into flats. Police believe those who saw or spoke to him, during those snooker games, may have crucial evidence.

The former Ship Inn where Harry was last seen in public Credit: ITV

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Gilbert says his officers still receive calls about Harry's disappearance, because he's widely spoken about in the venues he used to visit. He thinks snippets of information are passed between drinkers and snooker players to this day, and the crucial one is just waiting to reach investigators.

Police are trawling through boxes of decades-old evidence Credit: ITV

Anyone with any information on Harry's murder is asked to call Lancashire Police on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. You can follow Granada Reports week of cold cases on Twitter, under the hashtag #itvcoldcase.

Harry Baines Credit: ITV