Killings lead to family reunions

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The Independent Online
MORE THAN 80 families have been contacted by missing female relatives to say they are safe and well as a result of the Gloucester murder inquiry, police said yesterday.

Family ties were rebuilt after a national appeal by the Missing Persons Bureau following a much publicised tearful reunion between one missing girl and her family.

Uncertainty over the identities of the remains of nine women and girls found at the house in Cromwell Street has led to the reopening of many missing person files.

Chief Inspector Colin Handy, of Gloucestershire Police, said 86 people had been located and it demonstrated 'that good can come from an incident like this. It counterbalances the bad side of this story'.

Five were highlighted in the inquiry. They were all friends of Shirley Robinson, one of the murder victims. Detectives traced them to ensure they were all still alive, and put in touch with their families.

Digging was continuing in the cellar at 25 Cromwell Street yesterday and work was going ahead on the internal fabric of the extension. Frederick West, 52, a builder, is accused of eight murders.

Meanwhile, a helpline for people with worries resulting from the murders was opened yesterday by the Victim Support Service in Gloucester. The number is 0452 411724.