Detectives investigating the murders of three prostitutes in the Ipswich area have found two more bodies. The detective leading the murder inquiry, Detective Chief Superintendent Stewart Gull, told reporters the " natural assumption" was that the bodies were those of missing prostitutes Paula Clennell and Annette Nicholls.
Officers were alerted this afternoon by a member of the public. One body was found near Levington, Suffolk, a village about five miles south of Ipswich. Minutes later a police helicopter spotted a second corpse nearby.
The discovery means police are now hunting a major serial killer, who has claimed the lives of five women.
The naked body of Gemma Adams, 25, was found on December 2 in woodland on the outskirts of Ipswich.
On December 8 the body of Tania Nicol, 19, was found nearby.
The naked body of the third prostitute, Anneli Alderton, 24, from Colchester, Essex, was discovered at the weekend.
Mr Gull today said it appeared from a post-mortem examination that Miss Alderton had been strangled.
He said it was possible that DNA evidence may have been left at the scene.
Mr Gull said it was likely that Miss Alderton's body had been carried to the woodland where she was discovered in the village of Nacton.
Miss Nicol and Miss Adams knew each other and Mr Gull said it was likely that Miss Alderton knew both women.
Confirming today's discoveries, Mr Gull told reporters "Just after 3.05 this afternoon we were contacted by a member of the public who reported seeing what he thought was a female naked body on the old Felixstowe road near to Suffolk Police Headquarters.
"As a result of that we deployed a helicopter and shortly after, a second body was reported - what appeared to be a female body."
Mr Gull added: "I have to fear the worst. Sadly I fear these may be the bodies of Paula Clennell and Annette Nicholls."
Suffolk Chief Constable Alastair McWhirter described the multiple murder inquiry as "unprecedented".
"If you think of the Yorkshire Ripper, the murders took place over a long period of time," he said.
Mr McWhirter said it was still not known if there was one or more than one killers on the loose.
Mr Gull said: "These two bodies have been found not far from where Anneli was found and I fear the worst. They may well be Paula and Annette."
Mr Gull said no further prostitutes had been reported as missing in Ipswich.
He said: "I would say to the offender, I think it is unlikely he will make himself known to us, but clearly this man is a danger. He has got significant problems. If he is minded to make himself known to us, then clearly I would encourage him to do so."Reuse content