Yard orders review to look for missed clues in Suzy Lamplugh inquiry

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The Independent Online

The investigation into the disappearance more than 13 years ago of the estate agentSuzy Lamplugh is to be reviewed to see whether police have missed any clues.

The investigation into the disappearance more than 13 years ago of the estate agentSuzy Lamplugh is to be reviewed to see whether police have missed any clues.

A team of detectives is expected to take about 10 weeks to review one of the country's most baffling missing persons inquiries, but Scotland Yard stressed last night that it does not have any new information or leads and that the decision to re-examine the inquiry is not prompted by any breakthrough.

Miss Lamplugh was 25 when she went missing in July 1986 after going to meet a client at a house in Fulham, south-west London, which her firm was selling. The internal police review announced yesterday follows the appointment of a new officer in charge of the case after the retirement of the previous head of the inquiry. Detective Chief Inspector Shaun Sawyer asked for an overview from Scotland Yard's Central Area Murder Review Unit.

It will be conducted, from the start of the new year, under the command of Detective Chief Inspector Barry Webb, who led a review into the Jill Dando murder inquiry. The team will ensure that all possible leads were followed up, that investigating procedures were correct, and whether any new development in forensic science, such as the advances in DNA, could be used.

Hopes of finding Miss Lamplugh's body were raised earlier this month when her mother was sent a letter claiming to say where she was buried.But detectives said later that the information, pointing to a 90-acre site in Norton, Worcestershire, once used as a regimental barracks, was neither new nor significant. The land was first suggested as a site for Miss Lamplugh's grave more than nine years ago after information from a girlfriend of the convicted killer John Cannan. The Lamplugh family had hoped the information will not only allow them to give their daughter a proper resting place but also shed new light on whether the killer may have been Cannan, serving life for abducting and murdering another woman.

Miss Lamplugh's mother, Diana Lamplugh, welcomed the review, saying its announcement came as a surprise. "We are delighted that the police are looking into it in this way," she said. "The case has remained unsolved for 13 years and any review of new and old information can only help.

"It came as a complete surprise. We knew they were planning several different lines to bring in but this is much bigger than we expected. It is nice to know where we are going."

Scotland Yard said in a statement on the review: "This case has never closed. It should be stressed that this review is not as a result of stories that have appeared in the media. Under the Metropolitan Police Service review structure cold case reviews are carried out on appropriate cases by the Area Murder Review Unit."

The case was being reviewed because ofits complex nature and because of a new investigating officer had been appointed.

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