Child death inquiry reopens

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The Independent Online
THE BODY of one of two "Babes in the Wood" children who died 29 years ago has been exhumed by detectives thought to be investigating paedophile involvement in their deaths.

Susan Blatchford, 11, vanished with her 12-year-old school friend Gary Hanlon from their homes at Enfield, north London, in March 1970. Their bodies were found in a local copse 11 weeks later.

The cause of their deaths was never established, but police and the parents are convinced they were murdered.

The case was re-opened in 1984, after newspaper cuttings and photographs of young girls thought to be the victims of sex attacks were found at a house in the Home Counties, and again in 1996. Scotland Yard said yesterday that officers had dug up Susan's body from St James's Church in Enfield last week "in connection with a murder inquiry in 1970". A spokeswoman added: "There was a forensic examination. No arrests have been made."

Susan's mother Muriel Blatchford, now 78, was said to be "absolutely devastated" at the exhumation.