AS December approaches, the family of a missing Newbridge man are facing a full eight years of wondering what happened to him. 

Kyle Vaughan was 24 years old when he was last seen on December 30, 2012.

 Sign up to our Crime and Court newsletter to get all the day’s news direct to your inbox

Throughout the eight-year period since he went missing, Gwent Police have continued to investigate the incident and they, alongside the family continue to appeal for people to come forward with information.


Kyle Vaughan

Here we go in depth with all the information from the investigation so far.

If anything below jogs any memories from around the time that may help police, no matter how small, please contact the force through 101 or via their social media pages.

MORE NEWS

On January 2, 2013, Gwent Police shared an appeal through the media, detailing how Mr Vaughan had last been seen on Sunday, December 30 at his home address. It included a description of him, saying he was 5ft 8ins, of slim build with short dark hair and brown eyes, and wearing a gold neck chain with a cross and has a distinctive barcode tattoo on his inner left forearm.


Sally Richards, Gwent Police dog handler, and Tito searching woodland near Newbridge.

Two days later it was revealed that information had come to light suggesting Mr Vaughan may have been hitchhiking on the A467 northbound between Risca and Crosskeys at some time between 10.35pm and 12.30am on the evening he was last seen.

A further appeal was made on January 7, 2013, which also emphasised that Mr Vaughan or anyone who knew where he was would not be in trouble about contacting the police as they, like his family and friends, are only concerned with his welfare.

Just three days later on January 10, the investigation took a more sinister turn as it became a murder investigation – with the arrest of a 27-year-old man from Blackwood on suspicion of murder.

Further information was also released about Mr Vaughan’s car, a silver Peugeot 306, which was found at around 11.45pm on the night of his disappearance. Officers believed the car had been involved in a collision and asked for anyone who saw what happened to come forward.

Speaking at the time, detective superintendent Peter Jones, the senior investigating officer in the case, said: “Specialist search officer have been deployed and have conducted detailed searches of several areas over the last week. These searches have included the use of a search dog.

“Family liaison officers are providing Kyle’s family with support at this very difficult and upsetting time.”

Project timeline template by Elizabeth Birt

A second arrest was made the following day - as a 62-year-old man from Newbridge was arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice. He was released on bail pending further enquiries on January 13.

On the same day, a 21-year-old man from Newbridge was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender, and a a 15-year-old boy from Abercarn was also arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender the following day. 

On January 14, images of Mr Vaughan’s car were released to the public. The following day the 27-year-old was released from police custody and the 21- and 15-year-olds were both released on police bail. It was on this day that it was believed Mr Vaughan was last sighted between 11pm and 11.45pm on the A467.

On January 17, officers from the major incident team continued to search fields and areas near to where Mr Vaughan was last seen. The same day his family made the first of their emotional pleas.

Mum Mary Lucas and dad Alan Vaughan said: “Our lives have been on hold since December 30, and every day since then we have lived in hope that he will walk through the door. It’s been a painstaking time for us while we wait on news that our boy is safe.

“For Kyle to go missing is totally out of character. He would always be in contact with his mother every day and now we are heartbroken.”

They also thanked Gwent Police and the public for their support.


Karl Sheehan, Kyle Vaughan and Alan Vaughan.

Brother Karl Sheahan added: “We feel numb and are sick with worry about what might have happened to him.

“We were in total shock when we were told that our son and brother, was feared dead.”

The day after the emotional appeal, a 24-year-old man from Blackwood was arrested on suspicion of murder and a 22-year-old Newbridge woman on suspicion of perverting the course of justice, taking the total number of arrests to six.

The woman was bailed pending further enquiries on January 20 and the 24-year-old was bailed the following day. On January 22, two people from Cwmfelinfach – a 27-year-old man and 28-year-old woman – were arrested on suspicion of murder.

DS Jones said: "Eight people have been arrested during the course of the investigation; we are committed to finding out what happened to Kyle that night and since and we won’t stop until all avenues and lines of enquiry have been exhausted."

MORE NEWS:

 
The pair were released on bail on January 25.

Two days later another emotional plea was issued by Mr Vaughan’s family, this time from cousin Becky Imm. She said: "The family is going through a range of emotions. We’re confused because we just don’t know what has happened to him, especially with all the different arrests. We are trying to make sense of it all and nothing is making sense. We feel like we are in limbo.

"I think people know things they think aren’t relevant, like who he was with and what kind of mood he was in, but this sort of information could be very important.”

To further the search, a Facebook group was set up with almost 16,000 joining it by January 28. Severn Area Rescue Association (SARA) were also searching areas of the River Ebbw, which runs beside the bypass that Mr Vaughan was last seen by.


Kyle Vaughan's parents Alan and Mary. 

The public had been a great help in the search. Gwent Police said a month after Mr Vaughan’s disappearance that they had taken more than 230 statements from people in relation to the case and the force had dedicated 50 officers to it, but there had been no sign of Mr Vaughan.

On February 2, the family of Mr Vaughan said they were now convinced he was dead. Dad Alan said: "We know our son is not coming home again because he was killed on December 30, 2012. Now we will not have grandchildren. We are very hurt, but we thank everyone for their support in trying to find our son. We know he was harmed, but we know Gwent Police will do Kyle proud by sending them to jail."

Six days later, Gwent Police put signs along the stretch of road where Mr Vaughan was last seen in the hope that it would jog the memory of someone passing by and help with the investigation.


The signs along the A467

In June 2013, Crimestoppers offered a £5,000 reward for information relating to the case and on June 25, all of the suspects at the time had their bails extended. To this day there have been no charges in relation to the case.


Family and friends of Kyle Vaughan on a walk through Newbridge. 

Over the next few months, and continuing on across the years, the family have shared their anguish with a number of appeals for information. Gwent Police have also continued to mark his birthday and anniversary of his disappearance with appeals and have searched a wide range of areas.

A lot of the appeals involved the emotional plea for Kyle to be returned before his mum Mary died from terminal cancer, which she was diagnosed with in December 2013. But this was not to be, and she died on January 1, 2018 without ever knowing what had happened to her son. Mr Vaughan always says that he believes the cancer itself did not kill her, but not knowing what happened to her son was the final straw.


The memorial service for Kyle in Newbridge. Picture: www.christinsleyphotography.co.uk

In October 2016, almost four years since he was last seen, Mr Vaughan was pronounced legally dead, despite no body being found. 

In March 2017 Mr Vaughan's employer Unilever - who had previously said that if he returned, his job would still be there for him - gave the family a payout.

By Elizabeth Birt

In September 2020 Alan Vaughan appeared on Crimewatch Roadshow for an emotional appeal to accompany a reconstruction of his last known movements as the eight-year anniversary approaches. Speaking to the South Wales Argus after it aired, Mr Vaughan said: “It was hard doing it and it was very emotional to watch when it aired.

“I filmed it in August and spent seven hours working on it which was mentally and physically draining.

“I must have had over 100 messages on Monday afternoon,” he said.

“I had to turn my phone off at one point. But everyone was so positive, saying how I had done well, and they hoped that we will get answers.

“When I watched it back, I managed to hold it all together until I saw Mary’s picture. Then I broke. I was really pleased with how it was put together, but a number of people contacted me upset about how Kyle was pictured as a drink driver where you can go to a pub and not have a drink.

“I know that Kyle did not crash the car, I know he was run off the road.”


Family and friends of Kyle Vaughan at Rodney Parade 

“I think I have done everything humanly possible. I’m just waiting on the public now. It’s up to the public as to whether we get Kyle’s body back.”

Anyone with any information relating to Kyle Vaughan’s disappearance, no matter how small or trivial it may seem, should contact Gwent Police through 101 or their social media pages and quote the log number 397 30/12/12. Alternatively information can be passed to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800555111.