Heartbreak for mum given hope in ‘milk carton kids’ mystery after bones found

David Spencer was 13 when he went missing on Boxing Day 24 years ago (Image: PA)

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A mum given hope in the 24 year mystery of her missing son and his friend – known as the 'milk carton kids' – has received heartbreaking news.

Bones found three miles from where Patrick Warren, 11, and David Spencer, 13, went missing on Boxing Day in 1996 were being tested to see if they belonged to the youngsters.

But after David's mum Christine Harvey, 57, said she would be glad to bury her son and his friend if the forensics were positive, West Midlands Police have said they are "not thought to be" those of the boys.

Patrick and David came to be known as the 'milk carton kids' when their photos were printed on milk bottles throughout the UK.

The bottles were sold in 770 Iceland shops after a campaign to trace the youngsters launched by the National Missing Person's Helpline.

Patrick 'Paddy' Warren vanished in 1996 with his friend David Spencer
(Image: PA)

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Remains were found earlier this month just three miles from where the boys were last seen near a Land Rover factory in Solihull, West Midlands.

Christine told the Mail: "If it is Paddy and David, then I'm just glad to be able to lay them to rest."

The heartbroken mum said she was too emotional to speak to police when they knocked on her door to alert her to the discovery.

Mums Christine Harvey, left, and Bridget Warren, right, appealing for information at the time of the boys' disappearance
(Image: PA)

Forensics at the scene where human bones have been found near the Jaguar Land Rover plant in Solihull
(Image: Darren Quinton)

But police have not said the discovery is not being linked to the boys, saying in a statement: "The bones are not believed to be those of boys of David and Patrick's age, and we are not currently linking the find to any other existing criminal investigation.

"We suspect that the bones may pre-date the disappearance of the boys.

"Given the location of the find, we have kept the families of David and Patrick informed, but have told them we are not linking it with their children."

While Patrick's mum, Bridget Warren, sadly passed away from cancer five years ago – Christine said she hoped the boys could one day be buried together.

She added: "Hopefully we can bury them together, have a double funeral."

Construction workers made the discovery after it was reported the area had previously been searched by officers.

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