The key to solving the case of a man’s disappearance almost 25 years ago could lie buried just off the M53.
Steven Preston has not been seen since he waved to his mum from his bedroom window on September 18, 1992.
A tip-off has led detectives to the land just off the motorway at junction 5 for Hooton.
Specialist search teams are carrying out a ‘painstaking’ search of the area in Eastham.
Sadly Steven’s mother and half-brother have passed away since his disappearance.
But his older sister Jane, who is still anxious for answers, is being kept up to the date with the investigation.
She said: “He was a gentle, kind and funny lad. He didn’t have a nasty bone in him. He was my friend.
“He adored my mum and it destroyed her when he disappeared. She knew instantly he wouldn’t have just left and never contact her again and something awful must have happened to him.
“After all this time has passed if anyone knows anything or heard anything at the time, no matter how insignificant if they could come forward it could help us find some answers.”
Steven, who lived in Bebington on the Wirral, was 23 years old when he disappeared.
New information suggests he may have been murdered and buried on land behind the Starbucks and Travelodge off the A41.
Merseyside Police began their search of the area in Eastham on Monday (March 27).
More than 90,000 holes will be dug as the area is combed by specialist officers.
Superintendent Ian Hassell said: “Today a painstaking search is being carried out following information recently obtained by detectives.
“It suggests that Steven may have been murdered and buried in a specific area of land near to junction 5 of the M53 motorway.
“This work is being undertaken in a bid to find out what happened to Steven.”
Anyone with information about Mr Preston is asked to contact Merseyside Police on 0151 777 8663.
If you would prefer to report details anonymously the independent Crimestoppers hotline is 0800 555 111.
Superintendent Hassall said: “The question still remains, where is Steven Preston? A young man in 20s doesn’t just leave home and vanish into thin air.
“Somebody, somewhere must know where he is, or what happened to him, and I would urge them to contact us as soon as possible.”