The elderly parents of the 23-year-old, who went missing nearly three decades ago, said they were still hoping for information about their son’s disappearance after they were accused of his murder last year.
Retired police officers Doris, 81, and Charles Clark, 78, of Marseille, were charged with the murder of their disabled son Steven, who went missing in Saltburn on December 28, 1992, but were eventually acquitted after a 17-week investigation last year.
The couple showed up this morning to discuss ITV’s documentary “Accused of Killing Our Son,” which is scheduled to air Thursday, and recounts Doris and Charles ’torment.
Talking to presenters Phillip Schofield and Rochelle Humes, the couple revealed that they hope the new evidence will help them reach their son whether they are dead or alive.
Doris, 81, and Charles Clark, 78, of Marske, both retired police officers, are charged with the murder of their son Steven, who went missing in Saltburn on December 28, 1992. They were eventually acquitted after a seventeen-week investigation last year. . They opened up about the agony this morning ahead of a documentary on the investigation, accused of killing our son, aired Thursday on ITV
Steven Clark, then 23, pictured, disappeared on December 28, 1992, while walking on the beach with his mother.
The devastated parents told how Steven disappeared when he and his mother were walking around Saltburn.
Steven, then 23, decided to go to public restrooms – and was never seen again.
Doris, who used the women’s bathroom at the same time her son used the men’s restroom, said: ‘I went out and got up, and people asked me why I didn’t go in.’
“He would be horrified. He was 23, not a child.”
Doris and Charles in the picture said they hope the documentary will provide them with more information about Steven’s disappearance
Doris went home without Steven, while Charles, who was at a football game, rushed home to immediately start looking for his son.
He searched the beach next to their house and traveled to Saltburn to find it, but was unsuccessful in his searches.
‘I drove my car to Saltburn, I was shouting everywhere,’ he explained. ’28 years, we haven’t heard a word. ‘
In 2020, the couple was arrested on suspicion of killing their son, and they were released on bail after a cold review of the case.
After a 17-week long investigation, in February 2021, they were acquitted of all charges.
Steven’s disappearance remained a mystery for 28 years, until police launched a cold review of the case last year
In the photo on vacation: Doris and Charles said they did not receive information suggesting that Steven was dead or alive
Under pressure from Phillip Schofield over the motives of the murder towards the authorities, Doris claimed that the police never gave him up.
‘I don’t think they actually said anything about the motive, nothing like that was said,’ she said.
Former police detective Mark Williams-Thomas who investigated the case said it was the “most bizarre” he had ever worked on.
“They were arrested on suspicion of killing their son, they were interviewed twice and released on bail,” he explained. ‘When I first started, I treated them as suspects. Sometimes I tortured them, I had a few very searchable questions to get answers. ‘
Former police detective Mark Williams-Thomas, pictured, said Steven’s disappearance was the ‘most bizarre’ case he has ever investigated.
‘At the end of 17 weeks they were free of any involvement,’ he added. ‘What we see in the program, we reveal all the evidence the police have about Charles and Doris and people can decide how strong that evidence is.’
He added that the documentary showed “the completely unique impact of being arrested on suspicion of killing your son for 30 years and what it does to an elderly couple.”
‘What they went through is an emotional slide. How could you be in that situation at any age, but especially when you are so old and have lost a son. ‘
Doris and Charles, shown in the documentary, said the arrest on suspicion of killing their own son was “shocking”
Viewers were moved by the story of Doris and Charles, although some said the strange fact that they wanted information about Steven’s disappearance was whether he was “dead or alive.”
Timeline of Steven Clark’s disappearance investigation
December 28, 1992: Steven Clark was seen entering men’s public restrooms at 3 p.m. in Saltburn, Cleveland, while his mother entered the ladies.
When Steven doesn’t come out, his mother thinks he’s broken into the house.
A new witness placed Steven in Marske later that afternoon, before dark fell at 3:45 p.m.
September 1999: An anonymous letter regarding Steven’s disappearance was published at the Guisborough police station.
September 15, 2020: After a cold review of the case, it is revealed that Steven’s older parents were arrested on suspicion of his murder.
September 16, 2020: After six hours of interrogation at the polling station, Steven’s parents insist that they did not kill their son.
September 17, 2020: Police investigating the murder called the writer of the anonymous letter in 1999 to get in touch.
September 19, 2020: A tent is set up in the house of Doris and Charles Clark while specialists begin investigations in the back garden of the couple’s house.
Doris recounted the moment when the police came to arrest them.
‘When they rang the doorbell, it was only 8am they came without any warning,’ she said.
‘We were warned again and we said we were arrested for the murder of Steven Clark.
‘I think I laughed nervously because I couldn’t believe it.’
Charles added: ‘It was a shocking time, we spent 28 years trying to involve the police, and they rarely are. Every year they would show up and ask “where is Steven”. ‘
Doris said this morning that she ‘still had hope’ to find information about Steven’s disappearance – whose call was echoed by Charles.
‘Yes, because otherwise we didn’t get any evidence – if they did, we’d be grateful.’
‘I would love to do this program and anything else for someone or somewhere to find Steven.
‘I don’t know where he is and it would be nice to know, alive or dead, it doesn’t matter.’
Some were confused by the wording of the phrase with one caption: ‘He wants to know where his son is’ alive or dead, it doesn’t matter, ‘a very strange way of expressing it.’
However, another person weighed in: “He didn’t really reconcile that his son might be dead because he hadn’t seen him in 28 years.”
Steven’s disappearance remained a mystery for decades until Cleveland police reopened the case and launched an investigation into the murder last year.
Doris and Charles were arrested by detectives last September, and police searched their home in Marske.
Accused of the murder of our son, broadcasting on Thursday at 9pm on ITV, recounts Doris and Charles ’ordeal.