Man held over death of French student

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The Independent Online
Police arrested a man yesterday in connection with the death of the French student Celine Figard. West Mercia police confirmed that a suspect was being held and questioned following the disappearance of Figard in December.

A police spokesman said: "A man has been arrested and is helping police. That is all the information we are in a position to release and we are not giving any personal details, saying where or when he was arrested or where he is being held. "There has been no charge so far."

Figard's strangled and beaten body was found lying naked in a lay-by in Worcestershire on December 29, 10 days after she accepted a lift from a lorry driver.

DNA tests were carried out on thousands of men who owned or were drivers of a white Mercedes lorry trailer.

Figard, 19, was spotted climbing aboard a similar vehicle at Chievely service station, near Newbury, on the M4.

She had arrived in the country to spend Christmas with a cousin who worked at a hotel in Fordingbridge, Hants.

During the investigation police confirmed that they had not ruled out links between the death of the accountancy student and the murder of nine other women who had been found strangled near roads in the Midlands over the past two years.

Police forces around the country were consulted on Figard's case, which bore similarities with the other deaths attributed to a "Midlands Ripper", believed to have carried out killings with a sexual motive.

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