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Police 'to reopen murder inquiry'
Police are to reopen an investigation into the murder of Blackpool teenager Charlene Downes, it has been reported.
No trace of the 14-year-old has ever been found after she disappeared on November 1, 2003.
Prosecutors in the 2007 trial of a takeaway owner accused and later acquitted of her death claimed her body was chopped up and had ''gone into kebabs''.
The court heard Charlene was one of a number of young white girls who gravitated to Blackpool's takeaways to have sex with older men.
The news that a fresh inquiry into her death is being launched by Lancashire Police will be announced today, on the 10th anniversary of her death, The Times reported.
The force was unable to confirm it to the Press Association last night.
The inquiry into Charlene's disappearance is one of Lancashire's longest-running investigations involving a child missing from home.
It was alleged in the 2007 trial that Jordanian immigrant Iyad Albattikhi, who ran Funny Boyz fast food shop in the resort, strangled the teenager after having sex with her.
He was later formally cleared of Charlene's murder while co-defendant Mohammed Reveshi was acquitted of helping to dispose of her body.
The jury at Preston Crown Court was discharged after failing to reach a verdict in their trial and a scheduled retrial collapsed when the Crown Prosecution Service conceded it had ''grave doubts'' about the reliability of some of the evidence in the case.
A review by the Independent Police Complaints Commission later concluded the investigating team were guilty of a strategic and tactical failure in the management of the audio and video material they obtained while a detective who had the job of transcribing conversations that had been secretly recorded between the two suspects was forced to resign over the way she handled it.
Prosecutors claimed either Mr Albattikhi, known as Eddie, or his Iranian landlord and business partner, Mr Reveshi, was having underage sex with Charlene and they would be in trouble if the police found out.
Both men denied even knowing the teenager, who had been expelled from school and spent her time hanging around the shops on the promenade.
Police started a murder inquiry when David Cassidy, a former friend of Mr Albattikhi, said the accused's brother had told him the schoolgirl had been strangled and chopped up.
Detectives later bugged both Mr Reveshi's home and car with secret listening devices and claimed the defendants could be heard on the tapes discussing her murder, with references to eating her body and a burial place.
But much of the content was hard to decipher at the trial with sound experts and police disagreeing over what was actually said.
Both of the accused were later reported to have received six-figure compensation sums for false imprisonment.