One mother lost her teenage son after going out on a night of fun with friends 14 years back. Now she is asking for help. 

Luke Durbin, then 19, disappeared from Ipswich’s town center in the wee hours of May 12, 2006. He had been out drinking with his friends. 

Luke’s last CCTV photo shows him crossing a zebra crossing at the town centre, heading towards the bus stop. 

Although there were sightings of him in London and Ipswich in the days following his disappearance, none has been confirmed. His family have not seen him alive since. 

His mother Nicki encouraged anyone who has any information to call Suffolk Constabulary, as he spoke on The Missing Podcast. 

Final sighting: Luke Durbin was 19 when he vanished from Ipswich town centre in the early hours of the morning of May 12, 2006, following a night out with friends. The last CCTV image of Luke was captured at 4am and shows him walking across a zebra crossing (above)

Ending sighting: Luke Durbin (age 19) disappeared from Ipswich Town Centre in the wee hours of the morning on May 12, 2006 after a night with friends. Luke’s last CCTV photo shows him crossing a zebra crossing at 4am (above).

Vanished: Luke, a keen guitarist, did not have a phone, bag or any money on him when he disappeared. In the weeks after he went missing, his mother learned he was dealing drugs

Luke disappeared: Luke, who was an avid guitarist, didn’t carry a bag, money, or a cellphone when he disappeared. His mother found out that he had been using drugs in the days following his disappearance.

Linked to the case? This car, a silver or white Volvo 440, passed the CCTV camera moments after Luke. The car was being driven illegally on false number plates - M206 LYE - and the driver has never been identified but experts believe it could be connected to Luke

What is the connection to this case? A silver-colored or white Volvo 440 passed by the CCTV camera just moments after Luke. Experts believe that the car was illegally driven on M206 LYE false number plates. The driver of this vehicle has not been found, but it may be linked to Luke.

Same model: Suffolk Constabulary previously released this image of a similar car to help

Similar model: Suffolk Constabulary has previously published this photo of a comparable car.

Also, she shared the last CCTV images of Luke as well as a photo showing a vehicle with fake license plates. This was around the same time that Luke was last seen. 

The car, a silver or white Volvo 440, passed the CCTV camera moments after Luke. 

Experts believe that the car was illegally driven on M206 LYE number plates. 

Nicki said, “I’d just ask. I’m 100 percent certain that somebody locally knows, even if it is not yet, what will happen to Luke.” 

“I’d absolutely ask you to call Suffolk Constabulary if you can provide that crucial piece of information. 

“I do not want to know what happened to my son. I’d like to see him come home, in whatever way it takes.

Nicki also has a younger child, Alicia. She describes Luke as a calm and thoughtful kid who grew up to be a kind, caring young man. 

Desperate: Mother Nicki (pictured with Luke and daughter Alicia) said she wants to know what happened to her son before she dies in a new appearance on The Missing podcast

Mother Nicki, pictured with Luke (and daughter Alicia), said that she is desperate to find out what happened to her son. She made a new appearance in The Missing podcast.

As a teenager he left his local village of Hollesley, in East Sussex, to attend college in Colchester, Essex. 

Nicki explained that this is when things got a lot worse for Luke. He only spent one year in college, and when he was done with it, he quit to find a better job. 

Luke was totally demotivated. This was a very difficult time. This was exactly like the time with my son. He just wasn’t there. But it wasn’t the exact same person. 

“I didn’t know who Luke was with or what was happening. His behavior was shifting. It was shocking to me that I felt our relationship was in decline.

“I think that Luke first started to smoke cannabis here, it was evident on his clothing. He changed his attitude and even his regard for me.

“I felt really disappointed with him. He was a beautiful and intelligent young man. I was devastated. It was unbelievable to me.

Their relationship was at its lowest point around Christmas 2005.

Do you know these people? Luke is known to have left ‘Zest’ nightclub in Ipswich on the night he disappeared. He was later captured on camera on several streets in the town. Here - he can be seen walking towards Dogs Head Street - from left to right. The camera says it is 03:57 am. Two other people can be seen at the top and bottom of the image

Are you aware of these individuals? Luke is known to have left ‘Zest’ nightclub in Ipswich on the night he disappeared. Later, his capture was made on video on various streets throughout the town. He can be seen here walking to Dogs Head Street, from left-to-right. It is now 03:57 AM according to the camera. You can see two additional people at the top, and bottom of this image

“Basically, I told him that if you get a job and go to work, then you will go out,” Nicki stated. Luke probably was shocked by Nicki’s serious talk. He was offered a job. 

“It was working at a greengrocer/deli, and doing shifts in restaurants. He enjoyed his work.

He was given money by his grandparents to purchase a bike and began becoming more involved with family life.

You can help Luke! Questions that are key to answering 

Everybody with relevant information should listen to The Missing podcast. This is especially true for those who are interested in these types of questions:  

  • Did you find yourself in Ipswich on Friday, the 12th May 2006 at 05:00 AM?
  • Luke left Zest in Ipswich’s night club, Princes Street. Did you meet him there?
  • Luke was seen leaving the taxi stand at about 4 AM.
  • Did you see Luke as he walked along Dog’s Head Street in the Ipswich town centre, in the direction of the bus station?
  • Did you see the silver or white Volvo 440 that was spotted on Dog’s head Street at the same time?
  • The dark-blue Renault Megane Luke, a grey Renault Megane Luke, was seen sitting in the car on Saturday 13 May at 11am to 2pm.
  • Might you have spotted someone matching Luke’s description in London at some point in 2006?

You can find more information at The Missing Podcast.

Nicki stated, “It felt like Luke was back.” 

Luke said farewell to his parents and sister on the 11th of May 2006. He was taking Friday off from work, and planned to spend the night at Alex’s Woodbridge house.   

Nicki said that he laughed and she just told him “don’t drink & drive” since he was riding a new motorcycle.[And he said]”I won’t” 

He said, “That’s the very last thing that I said to him.” He got back on his bike, and he went off. Alicia and I then headed to supper. This was our last chance to see Luke.

Nicki said that other than the fact that he was riding a bike, Nicki wasn’t concerned about her son. Woodbridge is a place he frequented and nothing was unusual.

“If I knew what was coming, I would have tied Luke up and knocked Luke unconscious,’ she stated. Young people can’t be treated that way. “I never thought anything would go wrong.”

Luke, Alex, an Alex friend, and a third made the last-minute decision after drinking in Woodbridge to take a 20 minute taxi to Ipswich so they could go to Zest nightclub. 

Alex had had enough and went home straight after arriving in Ipswich. Luke, his friend, and another man went to the club. While inside, Alex and Luke lost their friendship. Luke was left behind. 

Luke, who was waiting to meet his friend at the club around 2 am, was caught on CCTV. 

Alex left him his bag, phones and money and he was unable to pay for the taxi ride home. 

Luke was quickly captured by CCTV at the station. He was presumably trying to get a late-running home service. He then went to a taxi stand and attempted to get a taxi home, but was unsuccessful. 

He was suggested by staff to call Nicki and request her bank card information, but he stated that he wasn’t interested in waking his mother. 

At 4 AM, the final CCTV photo was taken. Luke was seen walking across Dogs Head Street towards the bus station, although it is not clear whether this is where he was headed. 

Nicki, Alicia and their family didn’t realize something was wrong. 

Family torn apart: Nicki with her son Luke and daughter Alicia, before Luke's disappearance

A family split: Nicki, Luke and Alicia with Luke before Luke vanished

Nicki recalled Nicki’s movements that morning and said: “I went into work, Alicia went home.” 

“As far and away as I knew, Luke would have been at Alex’s mom’s house. Luke’s phone went straight to the answering machine. 

“I just thought that he would return Friday evening. I wrote a note that said “I’m at Vicky. Call me when you have the message.” Luke wasn’t there, and I didn’t know anything was amiss. This happened on Saturday. My friend and I went to my house Saturday morning, but Alicia returned home Saturday afternoon around noon. 

“And she replied, “Mum… I believe there’s some problem with Luke… Alex said to me that he hadn’t returned.”

Last hours: Luke’s last movements the night of his disappearance 

Luke Durbin was just 19 years old when he last saw him after an evening at Zest in Ipswich in Suffolk in the wee hours of the morning on May 12, 2006.

Luke, an avid guitarist was seen at Ipswich Railway Station between 2.30am to 3am on May 12, 2006 after leaving Zest Nightclub.

At 3.45am, he was seen by Hawk Express at the taxi rank. It is believed that he did in fact not have sufficient money to purchase a ticket home to Hollesley.

He was last seen on CCTV as he crossed Dog’s Head Street in Ipswich. This image shows him heading for the bus station.

He didn’t return to his home in order to retrieve his personal items and also failed to pay his wages.

He was one of Britain’s top-profile missing persons.

In 2012, a suspect was taken into custody for murder. However, he was informed that no additional action was being taken against him in March 2013.

Luke’s motorcycle that he loved was still outside Luke’s mom’s home. However, his personal belongings were within. 

Nicki realized that Nicki’s friends had not wanted to stress him, and initially believed he had returned home with his wife. 

Nicki realized something was amiss when he didn’t show up to work Saturday. She stated, “I knew how much he loved his boss and that I was certain he would not let me down.” 

“He was completely naked, except for his clothes. “I think that at this point, my horrendous silent hypersteria started to take over.

Nicki called his friends and the local hospital before reporting that he was missing. 

She continued, “It seemed surreal.” I thought it might be wasteful to spend police time on this because Luke’s coming home. My life is divided from the moment I made that phone call to now.

At first, police believed Luke had fallen in a nearby river.

“I believe it’s my first experience of such despair,” his mother recalls. “It was when I realized that Luke would not be coming home. It’s a feeling I continue to find today. 

“That day still feels as if it were the worst in those first few days. A police sweep was conducted to find nothing.

Police informed Nicki two weeks later that Luke had been seen by three people in Woodbridge, the same day he disappeared. They all knew Luke, and they confirmed that Luke was in a vehicle with two men. 

Luke’s old classmate came forward, claiming she was 95% certain she had seen him in London. Luke was not among the sights. 

Nicki discovered that her son may have been involved with drugs more than she thought in the weeks and days following his disappearance. Although he was not considered a major drug lord or a dealer, he wasn’t insignificant. 

Luke, according to some rumours, was connected to Brixton’s drug gang. 

She explained that she could recall being horrified at his disappearance. He said, “no.”

Four years ago, Luke disappeared. A new review of the case in 2010 revealed that there were CCTV images showing Luke and additional evidence that he was part of the cocaine trade. 

Nicki said that “Cocaine has changed everything” for her. It just felt like that… You’re only starting to play with the big boys. 

In 2012 police made two arrests – one on suspicion of murder, the other on suspicion of being concerned in the murder of Luke – however both men faced no further action.  

Another possibility is that Luke owed money to drug dealer higher up the chain. He could have left Suffolk and moved to a different place, fearful of the consequences. 

Nicki asked, “Was Luke really in enormous amounts of debt?” Nothing made sense. Luke was in debt but had the money to buy a new motorcycle and his paycheck waiting. 

“Luke wouldn’t – I absolutely would put mine life on it. Luke would not have gone missing in order to start a new life. He was just 19 years old and naive. He didn’t have anything. He had no money. He didn’t have any money. He did have a motorbike. 

Nicki knows that despite the circumstances Nicki is not likely to see him alive. She wants to know what really happened on that fateful night. 

She said, “Whatever the information may be, I want to know about Luke’s fate before I die.” 

For more information, visit The Missing Podcast