Police investigating murder of prostitute find second body

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Detectives investigating the murder of a prostitute found a second body yesterday. They are trying to establish whether the dead woman is that of Tania Nicol, a 19-year-old prostitute who has been missing for more than a month.

Police divers found the body in a brook near the village of Copdock in Suffolk, yesterday morning. She was naked. The discovery follows that of Gemma Adams, 25, who was also found naked in a brook in nearby Hintlesham, Suffolk, last Saturday.

Both women, who have been reported to have known each other, vanished while working in a red light district of Ipswich town centre. The district is about five miles from the brook where the women's body was discovered yesterday

Miss Nicol vanished on 30 October after leaving her home in Ipswich to go to work. In the following days, her mother, Kerry, made an appeal for information and said it was unusual for her daughter to not keep in touch.

Miss Adams, disappeared two weeks later, on 15 November. After her body was discovered, Detective Chief Inspector David Skevington, who is leading the murder inquiry, said prostitutes needed to "look out for each other" as fears rose that the two women could have been killed possibly by the same person.

Det Chief Insp John Quinton, who is leading the inquiry into Ms Nicol's disappearance, said: "There are obvious similarities to the discovery of this young woman's naked body in a brook and the finding of Gemma Adam's body. We are awaiting the results of the post-mortem and identification of the woman, but we are certainly treating it as suspicious."

Mr Quinton confirmed the spot where the body was found was downstream from where Gemma's body was found at Hintlesham. Detectives have said Miss Adams was not sexually assaulted but have not revealed how she died ­ nor how long they believe her body was in the stream.

Police are now examining cases of other prostitutes to have gone missing in East Anglia to try to establish whether a serial killer could be at large but stressed that, so far, no link had been made with any other crime.

They believe both prostitutes in Ipswich and their clients may have vital information about the killing and disappearance and urged them to come forward.

Several cases of prostitutes going missing in the area remain unsolved but police have not said they are linking any of cases to the current investigations.

In July 1993, Mandy Duncan, 26, a mother of two children from Woodbridge, Suffolk, vanished while working as a prostitute in Ipswich. Her body has never been found. In June 2000, Kellie Pratt, 29, disappeared while working in Norwich in Norfolk. The mother of two children is also presumed dead by her family.

In March 2002, Michelle Bettles, 22, disappeared while working as a prostitute in Norwich city centre. Her strangled body was found 20 miles away fully clothed three days later.