Bebo hope in finding teenager's killer

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The Independent Online

Detectives investigating the murder of a teenager whose badly burned body was found in a field said today they hoped to set up a Bebo site to persuade young people to contact them with information.

The remains of Zoe Nelson, 17, were discovered near Branchalfield Drive in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, on Sunday.

The popular student, who was due to celebrate her 18th birthday in a few months, was last seen leaving her Newmains home around a mile away at 5pm the day before.

Residents reported seeing a fire in woods known as Monkey Hill on Saturday night.

Officers said the response to their appeals for information have been slower than expected.

Detectives are now looking into innovative ways to make it easier for people, particularly the young, to contact them with any information.

They have set up an email address and a text-only telephone number and are are now planning to use social networking sites.

Detective Superintendent Derek Robertson told BBC Good Morning Scotland: "We know Zoe was a big user of the Bebo site, we know she has got tributes on her Bebo site.

"We've said to the young people we're going to try and set up a Bebo site for any comment or any information whatsoever. They want to engage in different ways with us, hence the reason the text message system has been put out there.

"They don't have to leave their details, just tell us some information. It's most important we capture that one piece of information that might break this case."

He added: "Somebody in this community must know something. They might not think it's important but please tell us about it.

"I think people are maybe thinking 'that's not important', but just tell us about it and let us be the judge of that."

He said the Monkey Hill area was a popular spot for teenagers and urged anyone who saw anything to contact them.

Detectives are now attempting to track Zoe's movements from the time she left her home to when the blaze was spotted at around 11.20pm.

The murder investigation was started by the discovery of the teenager's body at around 4.20pm on Sunday.

Her mother Marianne, stepfather Daniel, and sisters Laura Ann and Ashley said they were "shattered" by the Motherwell College student's death.

Mr Robertson added: "I've spoken to Zoe's mother and I've told her I will do everything possible to find this person and bring them into custody as soon as possible."

He said more than 60 officers were involved in the inquiry.