Field excavated in hunt for murdered estate agent Suzy Lamplugh

Police began excavating a meadow today in the hunt for the body of murdered estate agent Suzy Lamplugh.





Officers used a mechanical digger to create a shallow trench in a field off the B4084 between Pershore and Drakes Broughton, in Worcestershire.



They were preparing to use ground-penetrating radar to examine the earth for evidence it was disturbed more than 24 years ago.



Two forensic experts, Professor David Hawksworth and Patricia Wiltshire, were at the scene advising officers on the search.



Miss Lamplugh, 25, disappeared in July 1986 after leaving her west London offices to meet a mystery client known only as Mr Kipper.



On the day of her disappearance, witnesses reported seeing her argue with a man outside a property in Shorrold Road, Fulham.



Her white Ford Fiesta was later found a mile and a half away. She was declared dead, presumed murdered, in 1994.



Officers have examined thousands of lines of inquiry and conducted DNA testing on 800 unidentified bodies.



Although the case ground to a halt in October 1987, the file remained open and the investigation was actively restarted in 2000.



Detectives have apologised for "significant opportunities" which were missed during the first inquiry.



The latest search comes after a potential witness said he saw a mound of earth there around the time Miss Lamplugh vanished.



It is several miles from disused military barracks at Norton which were searched by a team of police officers in December 2000.



The area has been linked to prime suspect and convicted killer John Cannan, of Sutton Coldfield. It has been claimed his prison nickname was "kipper".



Cannan was released from a hostel days before Miss Lamplugh disappeared and a former girlfriend told police he suggested the body was at the barracks.



He has been questioned several times but in 2002 prosecutors said there was not enough evidence to charge him.



Miss Lamplugh's parents Diana and Paul founded a charity in their daughter's name and spent years raising public awareness on personal safety.



Mr Lamplugh, 79, said friends and relatives were following the investigation closely but were being careful not to get their hopes up.



He said: "The police have kept me fully informed and I look forward to further information with interest."



A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "Officers investigating the disappearance of Suzy Lamplugh will be carrying out a search on Tuesday of a small area near Pershore in Worcestershire.



"The Met remains committed to solving the Suzy Lamplugh case and we will continue to work towards this end. We will follow up any information in relation to this case."



Locals said the meadow at the centre of the latest search lies alongside a small stream and is often flooded.



Two vans and a four-wheel drive vehicle were parked on the edge of the site as officers used surveying equipment to examine the land.



University of Gloucestershire academic Professor Hawksworth is an expert mycologist and environmental scientist.



Mrs Wiltshire, of the University of Aberdeen, is an expert in decomposition and microscopic evidence left in graves such as pollen and fungi.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy