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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 December 2007, 23:51 GMT
New hair-in-hand murder TV appeal
Heather Barnett
The body of Ms Barnett was found by her children in November 2002
Police probing the murder of a woman who had cut hair placed in both hands by her killer have appealed for help to trace the owner of the hair.

Heather Barnett, 48, was brutally stabbed in the attack at her home in Bournemouth, Dorset, in 2002.

Analysis of the hair found the owner changed diet twice in the three months before it was cut and also that they were in the UK, US, France and Spain.

Police investigating the case appeared on BBC1's Crimewatch programme.

An appeal in November prompted about 35 calls from the public.

Dorset Police are also trying to establish if there is a link to a missing Italian girl.

In November police in Potenza, southern Italy, reopened the case of 16-year-old Elisa Claps who disappeared from the town in September 1993. Her body has never been found.

We're making inquiries into cut hair in Dorset and Italy and are exploring all avenues of investigation
Det Supt Mark Cooper

Detectives from both countries have been investigating whether there was a possible "hair fetish" link between Miss Claps' disappearance and Heather Barnett's case.

Dorset Police also renewed their appeal for information about a Nike "Terra Part" training shoe, the blood print of which was found at the murder scene.

They also want to know the identity of a man pictured on CCTV walking past the Richmond Arms pub in Charminster, Bournemouth, on the morning of the murder.

Elisa Claps
Elisa Claps, 16, vanished in Potenza in 1993

Analysis of the 9cm (4in) strands of hair showed the owner visited an area between Valencia and Almeria in eastern Spain and the Marseille to Perpignan area of southern France for up to six days, some eleven weeks before the hair was cut.

Experts have been able to add that they visited the urban area of Tampa in Florida, US, for eight days up to 17 days before the hair was cut.

During their inquiry, police have revealed at least 14 women reported having their hair cut off on buses in Bournemouth and said tracing the owner of the hair found in Ms Barnett's hands could lead to a vital witness in the hunt for her killer.

Det Supt Mark Cooper, of Dorset Police, said: "We're making inquiries into cut hair in Dorset and Italy and are exploring all avenues of investigation.

"We're very keen to speak to the person that this cut hair belongs to because they could be a significant witness."



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