In Depth

Tom Jones: what happened to student who vanished in freshers’ week?

Two men arrested on suspicion of murder following 18-year-old’s disappearance five days ago

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of murder as police continue to search for a student who went missing during his first week at Worcester University.

Tom Jones, 18, was last seen at around 3am on Wednesday near the River Severn in the city centre after a night out during freshers’ week.

West Mercia Police “had earlier identified two men they wanted to speak to after releasing CCTV images recorded at nearby Velvet nightclub”, reports the BBC.

A 20-year-old man from Worcester was arrested on Sunday in connection with Jones’s disappearance. A second man, also 20, was arrested hours later and both are now in police custody, according to The Sun

The missing teen’s parents, Ian and Vicky, from the Worcestershire town of Bromsgrove, had spoken to their son after his night out “and say he was already back at his halls and was ‘safe’”, reports Metro.

But after struggling to reach him the following day, the couple contacted the police.

West Mercia Police say that Jones, who was starting a primary teaching course, is thought to have crossed the Sabrina footbridge, near Worcester Racecourse, before walking on to the footpath along the top of flood defences on Hylton Road towards Hallow just before 3.50am.

DI Mark Bellamy thanked the public for the “unprecedented” response to an appeal for information, and said police had been working “around the clock to try and determine what happened in the early hours of Wednesday morning”. Trained divers and officers are conducting a “full and thorough search”, he added.  

Jones’ aunt, Jackie Rogers, told the BBC that a “small army” was carrying out house-to-house inquiries. She said that the missing student had sent a Facebook message to a friend at 3.46am but that no one had heard from him since.

He is believed to have been wearing pale-coloured jeans, a navy blue, woollen zip-up Lacoste top and green shoes at the time of his disappearance.

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