Police find no motive for petrol murder
Monday 26 December 1994
Tracy Mertens, 31, from Rochdale, Greater Manchester, was found barely alive by a local resident on the steps of a church in Eaton, Cheshire, on Friday afternoon.
She was taken to North Staffordshire Hospital but died early on Christmas Eve from extensive burns, possibly as severe as 100 per cent.
A post-mortem examination confirmed that the burns were the sole cause of death, discounting earlier reports that she had also suffered broken limbs.
Detectives from Cheshire, West Midlands and Greater Manchester were liaising in the hunt for the killers but said yesterday afternoon that they still had not established a motive for the murder.
Ms Mertens was abducted from a terraced house in Birmingham on Friday morning and driven north to rural Cheshire where she was murdered later that day.
They were still searching for two black men, believed to be aged about 30, who were seen driving her away from the house in what was described as a "tatty'' yellow Ford Escort.
A police spokesman said that many of the Midlands' roads were extremely busy with pre-Christmas traffic on Friday, including the M6 which is monitored by numerous security cameras.
Police have appealed for anyone who might have seen the car or its occupants to come forward with information.
"There are still no indications as to what the motive could have been and we still want to hear from anyone who might have seen this car between 11am and 4.20pm on Friday between Birmingham and Eaton,'' a police spokesman said yesterday.
Ms Mertens, whose children were being looked after by relatives yesterday, lived in Rochdale but spent a lot of time in Birmingham where her partner had several relatives.
Police and forensic experts were at the Birmingham house yesterday while Cheshire detectives liaised with colleagues in Manchester.
The villager who found Ms Mertens said that she was barely conscious when she found her slumped next to the church in Eaton.
"She was in a terrible state. Someone else from the village stayed with her while I rang for the police and ambulance,'' she said.
Five men were arrested in Glasgow yesterday and charged with the murder of Gary Talbot, an 18-year-old student who died in the city in the early hours of Christmas morning.
- 2 The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
Ball pool for adults opens in London
Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...
£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...