A new witnesses has also described a heavily sweating man getting on to a bus, apparently fleeing the scene of the murder. The suspect, who closely resembles an artist's impression of the killer, was seen by the driver using his mobile telephone before he got off near Putney Bridge Underground station in south-west London.
The new developments emerged at the opening of the inquest into the killing of Miss Dando, 37, who was shot once in the head outside her house in Fulham, south-west London, 10 days ago. Detective Chief Inspector Hamish Campbell, who is leading the murder inquiry, said a witness described a man "running for all his life" away from the scene after the shooting and nearly colliding with a van as he sprinted across Fulham Palace Road near Miss Dando's home.
He told Fulham Coroner's Court that the new information was an "important" development and confirmed that the man seen on the number 74 bus was the police's "prime suspect". Asked the value of the new descriptions, he replied: "It's tracking the man from the crime scene and it gives some indication of perhaps his background and how the escape was planned."
One possible explanation for the bus journey was that the suspect was a hitman who had been dropped off close to Miss Dando's house by an accomplice in a Range Rover seen near by, but after the killing missed his rendezvous with the getaway car. Panicking, he ran to the main road and jumped on a bus. He then telephoned the man in the Range Rover who picked him up at the Tube station.
Alternatively, police think the fact that the suspect used a bus, opening himself up to identification by the public, may indicate that he was not a professional killer, but a deranged stalker or spurned lover. But Det Chief Insp Campbell admitted that his officers were still struggling to establish why Miss Dando, who was due to be married, was killed.
Detectives are also trying to trace a second man wearing spectacles with black frames who was seen near the scene.
The Coroner, Dr John Burton, agreed that Miss Dando's body should not be released until further forensic examinations were carried out. The hearing was adjourned to a date to be fixed.Reuse content