DETECTIVES investigating the disappearance of a born and bred Rugby teenager over 30 years ago are appealing for information following the arrest of two people on suspicion of her murder.
Officers from West Yorkshire Police arrested a 75-year-old man on January 8 at an address in Gravesend, Kent, on suspicion of the murder of Harbans Kaur Lally, who has not been seen since 1985. They also arrested a 74-year-old woman at the same address on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.
A 53-year-old man was also arrested on the same day at an address in the Hay Mills area of Birmingham on suspicion of perjury.
He has been released under investigation, while the other man and woman have been released on police bail pending further enquiries.
The investigation follows information received by detectives that raises concerns about then 19-year-old Harbans’ disappearance and suspected murder.
Harbans, whose maiden name was Ranu, was born and grew up in Rugby, and married there in February 1984, before moving to Leeds some time later.
She is known to have worked at the head office of the Burton Group in the city until April 1985. She gave birth to a daughter in July that year in Leeds.
Sikh-raised Harbans, who was also known as Susan, is believed to have returned to Rugby in 1985, but disappeared soon after that, possibly after travelling to India.
As part of the investigation, detectives have conducted house-to-house enquiries in Bennett Street in Rugby, where she lived while growing up.
Det Ch Insp Nicola Bryar, of West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said: “We have recently received information that raises concerns about Harbans’ apparent disappearance, which we are now treating as a murder investigation.
“We are currently trying to build up a picture of her life at the time she disappeared and we are very keen to hear from anyone with any information that could assist us.
“We would like to speak to anyone who knew Harbans, who was also known as Susan, when she lived and worked in Leeds in 1984 to 1985, and also anyone who knew her when she was growing up in Rugby, either through school or in the area she lived. We are particularly interested to speak to anyone who knew her when she returned there in 1985.
“We would like to reassure people that we will treat all information in the strictest confidence and would urge anyone who does know something that could assist the investigation to contact us.”
Anyone with information is should call West Yorkshire Police via 101 quoting Operation Parryton or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.