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Wednesday, 1 December, 1999, 21:39 GMT
Murder appeal follows victim's last steps
Police hope the reconstruction will bring a breakthrough

A police detective has retraced the last known movements of a mother-of-two brutally stabbed to death in her bedroom.

Officers hope the reconstruction will provide vital new leads in the inquiry into the murder of 33-year-old Susan Kent.

Mrs Kent was last seen at a shopping centre
The part-time school dinners worker and childminder was found semi-naked in the bedroom of her house in Hempstead, Kent, last Wednesday.

Mrs Kent, who was separated from her husband, had been stabbed repeatedly with a knife in what detectives believe was a sexually motivated attack.

Detective Sergeant Caroline Nyman, of Kent Police, took the part of Mrs Kent for the reconstruction.

She left the dead woman's house at 0830 GMT to walk to Hempstead Infants School, following the same route taken by Mrs Kent and her daughter Jessica.

Police believe Mrs Kent's killer was someone she knew
The detective was accompanied by a girl taking the part of Mrs Kent's daughter.

She chatted to mothers outside the school and then returned to the murder victim's home.

Detective Sergeant Nyman then drove Mrs Kent's blue Vauxhall Corsa car, registration N466 AKR, to Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre.

Detectives have pieced together the route which Susan took around the centre from closed circuit TV footage.

The last known sighting of the victim was at about 1040 GMT when she used a cash machine outside the centre.

The murder victim did not turn up for her part-time job at Hempstead Valley Junior School at 1145 GMT and her body was found at 1615 GMT.

Police believe that Mrs Kent almost certainly knew her killer and are focusing the inquiry on her friends and ex-boyfriends.

The shopping trip was caught on close-circuit cameras
They have also contacted other forces to see if any similar murders will provide a lead.

A police spokeswoman said there were some cases the force wanted to examine.

She said: "The point of the reconstruction was to prompt the minds of existing witnesses who might remember more having seen someone looking like Susan and hopefully to bring forward new witnesses."

Police have not yet found the murder weapon despite extensive door-to-door inquiries and a search of the area around Mrs Kent's home.

But one witness has contacted officers to say she saw the victim walking to the school with Jessica and an older child, possibly of secondary school age.

Anyone with information is asked to call Kent Police on 01622 690690.
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