Man held in Amelie murder hunt

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The Independent Online

A 36-year-old man was arrested today over the murder of French student Amelie Delagrange.

A 36-year-old man was arrested today over the murder of French student Amelie Delagrange.

The man was detained at a house in West Drayton, west London, around 8.30am, three months after the 22-year-old was attacked near Twickenham Green, south west London.

The man is also being questioned over the attempted murder and robbery of a woman near the same green in November 2002.

The man is being held at a west London police station and officers are searching a number of addresses in that part of the capital, Scotland Yard said.

He is the fifth man to have been arrested in connection with the murder.

Two of the four previously detained were re-bailed until December while the other two were also re-bailed, but have been detained under the Mental Health Act for a period of assessment.

Last week police made a fresh appeal for four witnesses seen in the area when Amelie was killed on August 19.

The student was found lying on Twickenham Green with serious head injuries and was later confirmed dead.

She was walking home after getting off a bus following a night out when she was attacked.

Police have previously linked the murder to a number of other attacks in south west London, including the murder of 19-year-old gap year student Marsha McDonnell.

It is understood the November 2002 incident, which the man is also being questioned over, has not previously been linked.

Police believe Amelie's killer could be a serial attacker and think he was probably the same man who murdered Miss McDonnell in Hampton in February last year.

The two murders have also been linked to other similar attacks in south-west London stretching back to the beginning of last year.

In each case the attacker pounced from behind on women with blonde or light brown shoulder-length hair who were walking alone in the evening.

Police have said the attacks are linked for the purposes of investigation, but it is possible there is more than one assailant.

Last week, detectives confirmed one of four potential witnesses caught on CCTV had come forward.

The man had been pictured on a bus in Twickenham Green close to where Amelie was murdered and has given officers a statement.

He was one of four people who featured on CCTV footage on buses in and around the area.

Other incidents previously linked to the investigation included a 28-year-old woman attacked in Feltham on August 23 and found unconscious on the pavement, just four days after Ms Delagrange's murder.

In April, accountant Edel Harbison, 34, survived an horrific attack close to Twickenham Green, and Dawn Brunton, a 36-year-old accounts clerk, survived a similar attack in Hatton Cross in November last year.

The man detained today was arrested at an address in Little Benty, West Drayton, Scotland Yard said.

On August 28, a 22-year-old man was arrested in connection with the murder and bailed before being detained under the Mental Health Act.

On September 1, a 31-year-old man was arrested in Richmond and bailed to next month.

On September 10, a 47-year-old man was arrested in Kew and also bailed to next month.

A fourth man, a 42-year-old, was arrested in Richmond on September 17 and detained under the Mental Health Act but also bailed to next month.

No one has been charged for Ms Delagrange's murder.