By Sarah Lagan
A team of Hull Daily Mail and East Riding Mail reporters worked past
midnight on Thursday after a body was discovered thought to be that of
22-yearold Joanne Nelson who has been missing since Valentine’s Day.
The body, since confirmed as being that of Nelson, was found at 4pm
and by 5.30pm chief reporter Rick Lyon had received a call from a
source informing him of the discovery.
Around a dozen reporters,
who were getting ready to head home for the Easter weekend, stayed in
the office of their own accord and some, who had already left, were
called back to help.
Lyon was sent to the scene, more than an
hour’s drive away in a North Yorkshire wood, and scooped the only
on-the-scene interview with detective superintendent Ray Higgins who
has led the search for Nelson and by coincidence found the body himself.
who has worked on the Mail for four years where he started as a
trainee, was able to draw on his contacts to secure the interview.
Mail devoted 11 pages to the story and an extra 10,000 copies of the
Northcliffe evening title were produced in time to reach the newsstands
on Good Friday morning at the same time as the nationals. Journalists
came into the office at 7am the following morning to produce more than
2,000 copies of a later edition.
Lyon said: “It is a relief to
bring this tragic story to a close. The police have been pleased with
our coverage which they say has helped in their inquiry. It’s very
satisfying to have helped in a small way.”
Editor John Meehan
said: “Rick was the first to be alerted to the discovery which gave us
the extra time we needed to work on a special edition.
“The rest of the reporters stayed on without hesitation which is a tribute to the professionalism and commitment of the team.
been a real team effort, but Rick was a central figure. He is an
outstanding reporter and his performance was an exemplary example of
developing and maintaining contacts while treating the story with
Despite the usual lull in sales on a Bank Holiday,
sales of the paper are said to have increased “significantly” thanks to
Meehan added: “It’s a tragic story which has
gripped our readers. They have wanted to follow every step and shared
everyone’s wish that Joanne’s body would be found to offer at least
some relief to her family.”