Disappearance of April Fabb

April Fabb (22 April 1955 – disappeared 8 April 1969) was an English schoolgirl who disappeared on 8 April 1969, when aged 13, between the villages of Metton and Roughton in Norfolk, England.[2]

April Fabb
April Fabb 1969 police photo.jpg
Photograph of April Fabb used during the Norfolk Constabulary investigation.
April Fabb

22 April 1955
Disappeared8 April 1969 (aged 13)
between the villages of Metton and Roughton, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom
StatusMissing for 52 years and 5 months
  • Ernest Fabb[1] (father)
  • Olive Fabb (mother)


At around 1:40 pm on Tuesday 8 April 1969, Fabb left her home at 3 Council Houses, Metton to visit her sister's house in Roughton. Travelling by bicycle, she had a packet of ten cigarettes, 5½d and a handkerchief in the saddlebag, and was planning to deliver the cigarettes as a birthday present to her brother-in-law. Just after 2:00 pm, she was seen cycling along the country road towards Roughton.[2][3]

Map of East Anglia, depicting the location of April Fabb's disappearance.

At around 2:15 pm, her blue and white bicycle was seen lying in a field near Metton by two Ordnance Survey workers; a passing motorist later took it to a Cromer police station.[2]


Despite an extensive police investigation and search of the surrounding area, no trace of Fabb was found, and the reason for her disappearance remains unknown.[3][4] Her disappearance led to the biggest police search operation the UK had seen, with the authorities having searched 400 houses, conducted hundreds of interviews and recorded close to 2,000 statements since 1969.[2]

Further searches for Fabb, including the use of thermal imaging cameras in 1997 and the excavation of a well in 2010, failed to produce any fresh leads.[3]

At the time of the disappearance of Genette Tate in August 1978, Norfolk Constabulary pointed out to Devon and Cornwall Police that there were strong similarities with the Fabb case. Both cases are unsolved and no link between the two has ever been proven.[5]

Child murderer Robert Black was questioned over the two disappearances.[6][7]

In popular cultureEdit

In 2018, a play called Into Thin Air was inspired by Fabb's disappearance.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Norfolk schoolgirl April Fabb's 'agonising' disappearance". BBC. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d Shields, Mark (8 April 2019). "'She vanished off the face of the earth'". BBC News. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "April Fabb – Background". Norfolk Constabulary. Archived from the original on 22 February 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Police ready to link Peter Tobin to further murders". The Scotsman. 18 June 2010. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
  5. ^ Johnson, Dennis (22 August 1978). "Missing girl: police check unsolved 1969 file". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
  6. ^ Malcolm Pithers "Killer faces questions on more sex murders", The Independent, 20 May 1994
  7. ^ Richard Edwards "Prime suspect in 1978 murder of schoolgirl Genette Tate will not face charges", Daily Telegraph, 18 August 2008.
  8. ^ "New Play Inspired By April Fabb Mystery". Heart East Anglia. Retrieved 8 April 2019.

Further readingEdit

  • Greene, Dr. Karen Shalev; Alys, Llian (2016). Missing Persons: A Handbook of Research. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-409-46802-8.
  • Morson, Maurice (1995, rev: 2007, further rev: September 2012). The Lost Years: The Story of April Fabb. Redbridge Books. ISBN 978-0-9520192-7-5.

External linksEdit