A man has been charged with murdering a 23-year-old Leeds woman who went missing 14 years ago – and was thought to be on her way to Huddersfield.

Gemma Simpson disappeared from her home in Leeds in May 2000 after telling friends she was going to stay with a friend in Huddersfield.

Following a cold case review detectives have re-investigated her disappearance and subsequent murder probe.

Missing person Gemma Simpson who disappeared May 2000, aged progressed image to show Gemma as she may look aged 35
Missing person Gemma Simpson who disappeared May 2000, aged progressed image to show Gemma as she may look aged 35
 

Officers arrested 44-year-old Martin Bell in Scarborough on Tuesday night in connection with the disappearance of Ms Simpson.

He remained in custody today as police searched an address on St Leonard’s Crescent in the Barrowcliff area of Scarborough.

Gemma’s loved ones, who have made repeated appeals over the years for her safe return, have been informed of the development in the case.

Detective Chief Inspector Adrian Taylor, from West Yorkshire Police Protective Services (Crime), confirmed late today that Bell has been charged with murder and is due before York Magistrates on Saturday.

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