Marks show girl, 7, was murdered

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The Independent Online
POLICE yesterday launched a murder hunt after discovering that a seven-year-old girl found in woods near her Berkshire home had been strangled.

At first it was believed that Stacey Queripel had died accidentally when her necklaces became tangled on branches in woods near her home in Bracknell.

A police spokesman said: 'Following a further forensic examination by the Home Office pathologist, we are now treating Stacey's death as a murder investigation.'

Since the original post-mortem examination, more marks have come out on the body which showed Stacey was strangled. A second examination was carried out yesterday.

Her body was found lying in undergrowth by a path in the South Hill Park arts centre a few hours after she crept out of her home in a second-floor flat on the Birch Hill estate. The initial post-mortem examination concluded that she had died from asphyxia.

Stacey disappeared last Sunday after asking to go to bed early and was last seen by her mother Gilliane at 5.30pm.

(Photograph omitted)

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