Murdered tourist victim of sex attack

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The Independent Online
JOANNE CLARKE, a British teacher murdered in the Bahamas last weekend, had been sexually assaulted and strangled, an American forensic expert said yesterday after an autopsy.

The body of an American teacher, Lori Fogleman, found a few yards away the same day, was too badly decomposed for a conclusive verdict on cause of death, Dr Cyril Wecht said. Ms Fogleman, 32, had gone missing on 20 July and was probably murdered soon afterwards, police say. The fact that she was found naked suggested she had been sexually assaulted.

Ms Clarke, 24, was probably murdered on 21 August, the day she went missing and the day before she was found, with her bathing costume ripped and her shorts pulled down.

The Bahamian government had called in Dr Wecht, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as well as FBI murder specialists, after criticism that the local police were incapable of solving the two crimes. Scotland Yard was also expected to send a team at the Bahamian government's request amid fears that there is a serial killer on the loose.

Since the two bodies were found about 30 yards apart in thick foliage close to the popular Atlantis resort on Paradise Island a week ago today, the police have been accused of a tragicomedy of errors.

Anthony Winstead, the estranged husband of Ms Fogleman, told The Independent yesterday he had visited the crime scene last Sunday, a day after the bodies were found. He was surprised to find that there were no police at the scene. He was even more surprised to find a black leather neckband, entwined with strands of blonde hair, that he handed over to police officers.

The neckband belonged to Ms Clarke, a teacher from Banbury, Oxfordshire, who had been on holiday here.

The Bahamian Prime Minister, Hubert Ingraham, revealed yesterday that a French-Canadian, Philippe Desrosiers, 23, was no longer a suspect in Ms Clarke's murder although police would still like to question him over Ms Fogleman's death. Mr Ingraham said Mr Desrosiers apparently left the Bahamas an hour or two before Ms Clarke was last seen alive, sunbathing on Cabbage Beach.