Police hunt for girl's killer after body found

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POLICE HAVE launched a murder inquiry after the body of a young woman, thought to be that of missing Suffolk teenager Vicky Hall, was found naked in a water-filled ditch.

Ms Hall, 17, vanished in the small hours of last Sunday morning just yards from her home after an evening at a nightclub with friends. Residents on the estate where she lived reported hearing a woman's screams and the sound of a car roaring away.

Police said yesterday that the body, believed to be that of Vicky, had been found 25 miles from her parents' house in the village of Creeting St Peter near Stowmarket by a man out walking his dog.

Ms Hall had spent the evening at the Bandbox nightclub in Felixstowe with her friend Gemma Algar, 17, and the pair made the two-mile trek back to the village of Trimley St Mary. But after they separated a few hundred yards from her home at about 2.30am, Ms Hall was not seen again.

The alarm was raised by Ms Hall's parents, Graham, 45, a book agent, and mother, Lorinda, 43, a shop assistant. In the days that followed, Mr and Mrs Hall made a series of public appeals and the police launched a hunt. Police questioned a 21-year-old man from Ipswich about Ms Hall's disappearance but he was later released on bail without charge.

A week earlier a 19-year-old woman was raped in an alleyway outside the nightclub. Police do not know whether the two incidents are linked.

A relative at the home of Mr and Mrs Hall said the family did not wish to comment on the latest turn of events.

Creeting St Peter parish councillor Terry Last today said that whoever had placed the body in the water-filled ditch must have had knowledge of the area.

"Someone must have known the area because no one comes here," he said. "There is an occasional car but hardly anything. Pound Road is used as a short cut to Stowupland and it's popular with people walking dogs."

Police have taken away a burnt-out car which was dumped on a farm track about a mile from where the body was discovered. Locals said the car had been there for several days although police did not say whether they thought the car was linked to the discovery of the body.

The body was found by Jim Arnour, who was walking his dog. It was near a farm track which leads back to a single track road called Pound Road which runs out of the village of Creeting St Peter and leads to Stowupland.

The spot is about a 10-minute drive from the A14, which runs between Felixstowe and Stowmarket.