Pregnant 14-year-old found murdered

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A murder hunt is under way after a pregnant teenager was found strangled and semi-naked in a churchyard.

A murder hunt is under way after a pregnant teenager was found strangled and semi-naked in a churchyard.

Amy Williams, 14, was last seen alive on Boxing Day night, nearly 12 hours before she was found dead, dressed only in pink socks, near St Michael's church in Madeley, near Telford, Shropshire, on Monday morning.

A post-mortem examination indicated she was strangled, but further tests are being carried out to establish the exact cause of death.

Her mother, Jane Chattle, 39, said: "I'm utterly devastated; I'm saddened and sickened that anyone could do such a thing."

Ms Chattle, a mother-of-six, reported Amy missing on Monday morning, but did not find out about her daughter's death until Monday evening. She confirmed her daughter was pregnant and that her boyfriend, James Love, 16, was the father. She added: "James is a really nice guy. He recently bought Amy little booties for the baby. He was really looking forward to the baby coming."

Amy, who is described as being of slim build, white, between 5ft inches and 5ft 5in tall, with long dark hair, was last seen in the Sutton Hill area of Telford between 9pm and 10pm on Sunday night. She was wearing a pink tracksuit, white T-shirt and white Kappa trainers.

Her body was discovered at 9am the next morning by a 76-year-old man who was visiting his wife's grave.

Detective Inspector Andy Parsons of West Mercia Police, who is leading the murder hunt, said: "We are keen to speak to anyone who may have seen this girl after 9pm on Boxing Day night.

"She was partially clothed when she was found and we are particularly keen to hear from anyone who may have seen the clothes she was wearing earlier in the evening. We would ask that people check their houses, gardens and even their dustbins in case those clothes have been left there."

The vicar at the church, Rev Henry Morris, who contacted Telford police, said yesterday that the church remained closed and the yard had been cordoned off while the police investigation took place. He said he did not know who the woman was. "I have seen a couple of neighbours and everyone seems very shocked," he added.

Tests have been ordered to determine whether she had been sexually assaulted and whether she died in the churchyard or elsewhere.