The family of a man who went missing more than 20 years ago are pleading for the focus to return to locating him after his parents were arrested on suspicion of his murder.

Steven Clark disappeared while walking on the beach with his mother on December 28, 1992, and he has not been scene since despite extensive searches at the time and repeated appeals to trace the vulnerable 23-year-old.

His parents, Charles and Doris Clark, were arrested when Cleveland Police launched a cold case review in September 2020 and it was four torturous months later before they were told they were no longer begin investigated for their son’s murder.

The Northern Echo: Steven ClarkSteven Clark

Now Steven’s sister, Victoria Orr, has spoken to The Missing podcast in an attempt to refocus the police investigation onto her missing brother and deal with the trauma of her parents after the were arrested.

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Speaking to Pandora Sykes, the mother-of -two said: “I mean, you see this kind of thing happening on TV, but when it happens to you…I felt like the whole world was spinning. I just, I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

“So, my first response was where are my Mum and Dad and are they okay? Because of course I know that this whole thing is ridiculous. There's absolutely no way they would hurt Steven because of the family that we have and the relationships that we have. So, it was just utterly unreal.”

The Northern Echo: Charles and Doris ClarkCharles and Doris Clark

But for her elderly parents the situation was all too real – they were arrested, their home was forensically searched and parts of their beloved garden were dug up by police searching for evidence.

And with the finger of suspicion pointing towards her parents, who are both in their 80s, Mrs Orr said: “It was just horrific, you know? And the whole time I'm panicking thinking, well, I want to talk to my mum and dad.

“Like, how are they coping? You know, they're in their eighties now…this is just a horrific shock. So, it was the beginning of a very long nightmare.”

Steven, who walked with a limp as a result of a childhood road accident, is said to have walked on the beach from Marske to Saltburn at about 3pm on the day he disappeared.

His parents had made numerous public appeals for help in solving the mysterious circumstances surrounding Steven’s disappearance.

The Northern Echo: The anonymous letterThe anonymous letter

Seven years after Steven had first gone missing, an anonymous letter was sent to the police, one which accused Steven's parents of being complicit in his disappearance, and it was this that formed the cornerstone of the reinvestigation.

“I mean the letter was even addressed to the wrong police force. The name was wrong. It went to a different police force in Guisborough, which is not the police that we're dealing with. So, why it was taken so seriously, I really don't know, but it has devastated our family,” she added.

“It was just awful. The way they were treated was diabolical.

“My parents are actually in the process of a formal complaint against the police through their solicitor and I think that's absolutely the right thing to do.”

The Northern Echo: Forensic officers working in Saltburn Valley Gardens in April 2021Forensic officers working in Saltburn Valley Gardens in April 2021

The couple, both former police officers themselves, were told in February 2021 that they were no longer under investigation but their arrest had a lasting impact on them.

Mrs Orr added: “I have lost all faith in the police. The police are the people that you are supposed to be able to go to when you need help or if you have a problem. And you know let's face it, in a missing person's case, we all know that the police have a job to do.

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“Ultimately, I guess families are going to be under scrutiny when somebody disappears and goes missing. But the total lack of empathy and kindness and just that sort of guilty until proven innocent type approach is unacceptable.”

Two years after the couple were cleared of any involvement in their son’s disappearance, the family hope that they will one day be able to learn exactly what happened to the vulnerable 23-year-old.

Making a plea for the public’s help, she said: “I would like to say to please come forward and talk about anything that you might have seen or anything that you can remember about Steven's disappearance, because everybody who has a missing person says this, but it doesn't matter how insignificant you think it is, something might make sense and might be a lead that can be followed up on.

“Steven being missing has left a huge hole in our lives. So, anything that anyone can do to help us find him would be amazing.”

Detective Chief Inspector Shaun Page said: “We currently have no active lines of enquiry on this case, however, we will always continue to respond to intelligence and information which may help us to locate Steven.

"If people do have information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, then I would urge them to contact police via 101 or contact independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on"

Information can also be given through the Cleveland Police section of Major Incident Public Portal.

The Missing podcast is available on all major podcast platforms. Visit to find out more information and help with the investigation.