The family of missing DJ Derek have described what they call their “biggest lead yet” after a witness has come forward to claim that he saw the DJ being chased out of a pub following an “altercation about a drink”.
73-year-old Derek Serpell-Morris, known as “Britain’s oldest DJ”, disappeared in July. Sightings have been reported in Thornbury, Yate and at Cribbs Causeway in Bristol.
Now Serpell-Morris’s great niece, Jennifer Griffiths, told Bristol 24/7 that a witness had seen a man being chased out of a pub in Thornbury on 11 July.
Griffiths said: “I’ve spoken to the witness personally and he’s 100 per cent sure it’s Derek. This could be the biggest lead yet.”
A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police has said the investigation is continuing.
“This investigation remains live and we would still appeal for anyone who might have any information as to Derek’s whereabouts to contact us immediately,” the spokesperson says.
“Any information, regardless of how insignificant you think it might be, could be crucial to this investigation.”
Aside from a one-off show on New Year’s Eve last year, Morris retired from DJing in 2013. He built a reputation for playing rocksteady, reggae, ska, dancehall and soul during his career which featured slots at Glastonbury and the Big Chill.
Morris launched his DJ career in his mid-30s after working in the accounts department of confectionery firm Cadbury’s. In 2006, he told the BBC that he left the firm after years of “domestic hell” before starting work as a DJ in a Bristol pub.
Over more than 40 years he established himself as a fixture on the city’s clubbing scene. In 2012 he won the Lord Mayor’s medal for his “outstanding” contribution to the music scene in the city.