Police hunt murdered girl's clothes

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The Independent Online

Police investigating the murder of a pregnant 14-year-old girl whose naked body was discovered in a graveyard appealed yesterday for help in finding her clothes.

Detectives believe the pink tracksuit, white T-shirt and white Kappa training shoes Amy Williams was wearing could hold clues to the identity of her killer. Officers are asking people in the Shropshire area to look in hedges, dustbins and gardens. The body of the teenager, who was six months pregnant, was found at St Michael's parish church, Madeley, near Telford, Shropshire, on Monday by an elderly man visiting his wife's grave. The girl had been strangled and was left wearing only pink socks.

Sixty police officers are involved in the inquiry, which has yet to establish where she was killed. A police spokesman said: "The examinations so far have revealed no indications that she was sexually assaulted, although we are awaiting the results of further tests."

As a routine part of the investigation, detectives have questioned James Love, 16, Amy's boyfriend and the father of her unborn child. The girl's family said her killing had "destroyed" them. Detective Chief Inspector Dave Morgan, of West Mercia Police, said: "Amy was a vulnerable young girl with her whole life ahead of her and for her to be killed in this manner was a shocking and despicable act.

"We are determined to trace whoever is responsible as soon as possible and we are appealing for the public's help.

"Her family are understandably devastated by what has happened and we are giving them all the support we can." He said that it would have been obvious to anyone that Amy was heavily pregnant.

Detective Inspector Andy Parsons, the deputy investigating officer, added: "We are particularly keen to speak to anyone about the clothing she was believed to be wearing in the evening before."

Police also want to speak to anyone who saw Amy on the evening of Boxing Day. She was last reported seen between 9pm and 10pm in Southgate, in the Sutton Hill area of Telford where she lived with her mother.

The murder is not being linked with any other attacks at this stage, but the police are investigating whether there have been any assaults in the area.

The dead teenager's uncle Bill Hinkley said: "She was just a quiet girl, just a normal teenage girl. I always used to see her with her mates. She liked a laugh, she always found me funny for some reason. She had a sense of humour. The family are gutted. It has destroyed them, especially under these circumstances."

Yesterday, flowers were being laid outside the 18th-century church where Amy was found. The Rev Henry Morris, the vicar, said: "It's really sad. Death at any time is a sad occurrence but especially at this time of the year and in these circumstances. The churchyard is a public place and people have every right to access it. There are problems in the churchyard with vandalism but it's pretty unusual for people to be in the churchyard on a very cold night."

Michael Barrett, who lives close to the church, added: "It's absolutely tragic and difficult to understand. Our thoughts are with the family."