Victim's mother questioned

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

DETECTIVES were today interviewing yesterday interviewed the mother of a pregnant teenager whose body was recovered from a garden grave.

The mother answered a nationwide appeal by police investigating the background of 18-year-old Shirley Ann Robinson, who is thought to have been a one-time lodger of Frederick West, a builder, of Cromwell Street, Gloucester, who is accused of her murder and two others.

Named only as Christa from Cleveland, the mother was said to be very upset, having have learned of the find from media reports. of detectives probing the teenager's past. She told police said she had not seen her medium-built dark-haired daughter for several years.

Police believe that the teenager lived for some time in Leicester, Wolverhampton and Bristol . They maintain she spent some time as a lodger in Mr West's house at 25 in Cromwell Street, in inner city Gloucester. where her body was recovered on Tuesday.

Mr West, 52, is due to make his third appearance before the city's magistrates on Monday.

, where on Thursday he faced three murder charges.

He was accused of murdering Shirley Ann; an unknown woman in her early twenties; and his daughter Heather, who was 16 when she vanished from her home seven years ago.

All the bodies were recovered over the past week, by specialist police digging teams, from the 40ft by 15ft garden at the rear of West's semi-detached villa.

Police have said that Shirley was in the latter stages of pregnancy when she died.

Today police brought in specialist electronic equipment to probe the house and the garden where digging began nine days ago.

Digging will continue tomorrow with a rest day on Sunday. On Monday officers are to decide whether to begin demolishing a large one-storey extension at the rear of the building.

Chief Inspector Terry Moore, who is heading the murder incident room at Gloucester's main police station said: 'The specialist equipment is capable of looking through solid matter and may reveal evidence we are looking for.'

Police have said they do not expect to find any more bodies but they are to complete their search of the garden and house in a bid for clues.

Forensic examinations of the three bodies has so far failed to give positive identification of any of the women.

But police are confident that the first body recovered last Sunday is that of Heather.

They are understood, however, to be no closer yet to putting a name to the woman in her early twenties. Neither do they know the cause or time of death.