Murder hunt after girl's body is found in Thames

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The Independent Online
Murder hunt after girl's body is found in Thames

Police launched a murder investigation yesterday after the body of the missing teenager Kirsty Tidman was found in the river Thames in east London.

The 14-year-old was identified by a gold ring with her initials, KAT, which was found on the body. Further tests are being carried out on the body after a post-mortem examination failed to establish how she died. The body was found yesterday morning as Kirsty's parents, Keith and Lynda, were preparing to make a television appeal for help in finding their daughter who had been missing since 4 May. She was last seen outside her house in Charlton, south east London.

Kirsty's cousin, Paul Pearson, who apparently killed himself after being questioned about Kirsty's disappearance, is the prime suspect in the case. Police are waiting for the results of DNA tests carried out on blood found in a hire car used by Mr Pearson, 30, the weekend before last. He was found with his throat cut at his home in Plumstead last Friday, the day after being released on police bail. "He is still very much part of the inquiry," said a police spokesman last night. Matthew Brace