DNA profile may solve 25-year-old murder case

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The Independent Online

A murder investigation which was the first case featured on Crimewatch is closer to being solved. Police have revealed they now have a complete DNA profile of the killer.

Trainee hairdresser Colette Aram, 16, was abducted, raped and strangled as she walked to meet her boyfriend in the village of Keyworth, Nottinghamshire on 30 October, 1983.

Despite a television appeal on the BBC show Crimewatch in 1984, and hundreds of police officers on the case, Ms Aram's killer was never caught. But following advances in forensic techniques, police today begin a campaign to find a match for the DNA profile.

The profile does not match any of the four million people already on the national DNA database and a further 1,500 possible suspects have been ruled out. Now police want members of the public to come forward with names of possible suspects so officers can take a DNA sample from them.

Officers will deliver leaflets to 15,000 homes in south Nottinghamshire in the next three weeks to remind residents of Ms Aram's murder. Detective Superintendent Kevin Flint, who is leading the investigation, said: "I am confident we are doing everything we can. We have now got a DNA profile.

"We have been able to eliminate many people of interest but I now need the public's help. People will have suspicions but we have not had the right name. My experience is, many people will not give information unless the police knock on the door. I want the public to see this publicity as the police knocking on their door. We can eliminate people via a simple process of providing their DNA on a swab." Police believe Ms Aram was killed by a stalker who preyed on young girls. They say he had been spying on girls at a riding school before stealing a red Fiesta and driving to Keyworth.

He is thought to have stalked two other girls before attacking Ms Aram shortly after 8pm. After the killing, the landlady of a nearby pub, the Generous Briton, said she had spoken to a man in her bar who had blood on his hands.

Ms Aram's naked body was found the next day, dumped in a field just over a mile from where she went missing. Police say believe the killer returned to the scene of the crime to watch as the murder was investigated by officers.

Officers are also convinced that the killer, despite not being on the DNA database, has previous convictions. A police spokeswoman said: "The database didn't exist until the mid 1990s so it is entirely conceivable he has been in prison and not had his DNA taken. It is quite likely as you don't usually go from being a non-offender to a murderer."

Ms Aram's mother, Jacqui Kirkby, 62, has returned from Greece to help the renewed appeal for information. She said: "It's reliving it all but I have to do it not just for me but for Colette. I have to do it because I can say years down the line that I know I've done what I can to bring this man to justice."