Yard revisits game reserve murder

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The Independent Online

Detectives from Scotland Yard have returned to Kenya after new evidence emerged in the 23-year unsolved murder of Julie Ward.

The British tourist was killed in 1988 on a trip to the Masai Mara game reserve. Six days after she disappeared the burned remains of her leg and part of her jaw were found close to a tree in the bush.

Six detectives and a crime scene manager arrived in Nairobi on Thursday to interview witnesses and take DNA samples with the aim of eliminating suspects, Scotland Yard said.

Julie's father John Ward, 78, who has led a campaign to see her killer convicted, said the visit came after he passed new details to Scotland Yard. It followed the digging up of land following a tip-off. Mr Ward declined to say what items were found. Kenyan authorities initially said that Ms Ward, 28, committed suicide or was killed by wild animals. An inquiry by Scotland Yard and Kenyan police led to two park rangers standing trial for her murder, but both were acquitted in 1992. A second inquiry in 1997 led to the Masai Mara's chief game warden, Simon Makallah, being charged with the killing, but he too was cleared in 1999.