Police quiz 'killer' named on roadside sign

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The Independent Online

Police have traced a man named as the alleged killer of a schoolgirl on a handwritten cardboard sign left at a roadside memorial 17 years after her death.

Officers said the person is "fully co-operating" with inquiries into the frenzied knife attack on 16-year-old Claire Tiltman in 1993 but no arrests have yet been made.

Cold case detectives retrieved the cardboard last month after it was left near where she was stabbed. It claimed to name her murderer, the type of car he drove and the firm he worked for.

It is understood the name mentioned is not one that had previously figured in police inquiries. The sign is undergoing forensic examination, Kent Police said.

A police spokesman said: "The person named within the information is fully co-operating with the investigation team as inquiries continue. No arrests have been made at this time."

He added: "As with all ongoing investigations, officers will investigate any credible leads.

"Kent Police continues to investigate information received relating to the Claire Tiltman's murder.

"The piece of card which has been handed to officers is currently undergoing forensic examination. We are unable to say how long this process will take."

Claire was knifed more than 40 times in an alleyway off London Road in Greenhithe, Kent, as she took a short cut to visit friends on January 18 1993, four days after her 16th birthday.

No one has been charged with murdering Claire, a pupil at Dartford Grammar School for Girls.

Today, her father Cliff Tiltman, 60 and a retired plumber, said: "I haven't heard anything more from the police. All they've said so far is that they are looking into it.

"I don't want to get my hopes up. I've done this before over the years, thinking that this looks promising, only for it to lead nowhere."

Mr Tiltman, who still lives in the home he shared with Claire, blames her killing on the death two years ago of his wife Linda and his father-in-law.

He said: "I would like to sit down with whoever killed Claire and just ask them one simple question - 'Why?'."