Australia serial killer fears

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The Independent Online
SYDNEY - Australian police yesterday stepped up investigation of the murder of two British women holidaymakers when they identified the newly discovered remains of another person as those of a missing German tourist, Simone Schmidl, writes Robert Milliken.

This brought to five the number of bodies of missing backpackers found in the same forest south of Sydney over the past 14 months. The discoveries have led police to conclude that all the young travellers may have fallen victim to a serial killer.

Schmidl, 22, had not been seen since she left Sydney in January 1991 to hitch-hike to Melbourne.

The woman's remains were found about three miles from the spot where the bodies of the British women, Caroline Clarke and Joanne Walters, both 22, were discovered in September last year.

They had vanished five months earlier after they, too, had set out to hitch-hike from Sydney. The bodies of two Australian teenager hitch-hikers were found near by.