Page last updated at 19:09 GMT, Wednesday, 21 October 2009 20:09 UK

Parents tell of emotional ordeal

Parents tell of emotional ordeal

The parents of a woman who was murdered and whose remains were discovered dumped by the M5 say the last two weeks have been an "emotional whirlwind".

Steve and Pat Hall's 25-year-old daughter Melanie was last seen in a Bath nightclub 13 years ago.

Mrs Hall said it had been very hard for Melanie's 90-year-old grandmother to hear about her brutal injuries.

Mr Hall said he knew in his heart she was dead but never had to "face the reality" until her remains were found.

Detectives have been sifting ground close to junction 14 of the M5 since the discovery of bin bags containing Melanie Hall's remains on 5 October. The fingertip search is now coming to an end.

'Huge burden'

Speaking from their home in Bradford Leigh in Wiltshire, Mrs Hall said: "My first wish was that Melanie would be found while Steve and I were both still here.

"It would have been a huge burden for her sister, Dominique, to have dealt with on her own."

Mr Hall said: "We had three main aims - the first to find Melanie, the second to find out what happened to her and the third to find out who was involved.

"We welcome the media attention because it has given us something to do and it gives us a part to play in helping the police - and to get the message across to the public in how much we need their help.

When people ask me how many children I have - I always say two. In my heart I have still got two daughters.
Pat Hall

"For 13 years we've known in our hearts that Melanie was dead but until a couple of weeks ago we never had to face that reality.

"We now know that she is dead. We now know that she was brutally beaten around the head and dumped on the side of the motorway. We know that someone is responsible for her murder."

Mrs Hall said: "We were told she had a blunt force injury with a fractured jaw, cheekbone and skull - that's quite an aggressive injury.

Melanie Hall
Workmen discovered Ms Hall's bones in a bin liner in undergrowth by the M5

"To imagine that someone actually did that to your child - your daughter - who never hurt anybody is just incomprehensible.

"I found it even harder for her sister to have to listen to it and her 90-year-old grandmother - nobody should have to listen to that.

Murder inquiry

"When people ask me how many children I have - I always say two. In my heart I have still got two daughters."

The Halls have received hundreds of cards and letters of support in the last fortnight - some from people they have never met.

Police say they have taken more than 200 calls since the murder inquiry was renewed after the discovery of Ms Hall's remains near Thornbury in South Gloucestershire.

Despite several searches by police, no trace of the Royal United Hospital clerical worker was ever found until workmen clearing away vegetation discovered her remains.

Anyone with information has been asked to ring the murder incident room on 0117 9455811 or call Crimestoppers.

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