Melanie Hall murder: 'Significant' new clues uncovered

Detectives investigating her death have received "significant" clues that could help solve her murder

Detectives investigating the death of murdered Melanie Hall have uncovered "significant" new clues they believe may act as a breakthrough in the search for her killer.

Ms Hall, an employee at the Royal United Hospital in Bath, vanished 17-years ago after going on a night out at Cadillacs nightclub in Walcot Street, Bath, in June 1996.

Her body was discovered four years ago today, dumped by the M5 near Bristol. On 4 October, 2009, human remains were found near the M5 by a workman clearing vegetation. They were identified as the 25-year-old's two days later.

A Volkswagen Golf recently discovered by officers is being examined by forensic experts.

Detective Superintendent Mike Courtiour, leading the murder inquiry, said: “It is a white, A-registered, mark 1 Volkswagen Golf GTi cabriolet which is currently being examined by forensic scientists. At this stage we do not know if it is connected with the case, but it is a very interesting and possibly significant line of inquiry.

“Over the past four years we have received information, intelligence and names that we have taken seriously, researched and thoroughly investigated.

“We have recently received information concerning the origin of the blue rope that was used to tie up Melanie's body. It is significant information and we are actively working on that line of inquiry. We are working with forensic scientists in relation to the rope and the circumstances of where that particular length of rope came from.

Miss Hall's relatives also urged anyone who may have information to come forward as part of the fresh appeal.

Her elder sister Dominique said: “We have always been hopeful that someone would be brought to justice and that we would find out the details of what happened to Melanie.

“It won't make the future any different - there will never be closure for our family - but it would be a great consolation if someone would search their conscience and come forward to police with that vital information we need.”

Melanie Hall, whose remains were found by the side of a motorway 13 years after she disappeared  

Miss Hall's father Steve said: “This is very positive news. Gradually the pieces of the jigsaw are being put together to bring Melanie's killer or killers to justice.

“We always knew it would take a long time, but these new developments appear very encouraging. It's time for whoever has information about Melanie's murder to come forward and bring this to an end - because it will come to an end eventually. The police won't give up until they get a result.”

Det. Courtiour said officers from Avon and Somerset police remained determined to find the person responsible for her murder.

“Bringing Melanie Hall's killer or killers to justice remains one of our highest priorities,” he said.

“On this fourth anniversary of the discovery of her body, I can stress that the investigation is very much active. It has been, and continues to be, one of the most detailed and thorough murder investigations in the force's history.”

Additional reporting by PA

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

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent