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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 November 2007, 19:12 GMT
Post-mortem held on killed Briton
Police in Perugia
Police continued to examine the house and surrounding garden
Police in Italy have completed a post-mortem examination on the body of murdered Briton Meredith Kercher.

She was found dead in the bedroom of her Perugia flat on Friday morning with a deep cut to her throat.

Police are working on a theory that the 21-year-old student may have known her killer and might even have met him at a Halloween party on Wednesday night.

The examination took seven hours to complete, while police continued to examine the student house.

"We've completed our work and there are interesting elements which I must now discuss with the magistrate," pathologist Luca Lalli said, without elaborating.

Blood traces

Results from the examination are expected to tell Italian police whether Miss Kercher had been sexually assaulted.

Earlier, officials said initial checks showed she was probably stabbed in the neck with a knife.

There are reports of a footprint in the blood found in the bedroom, and police are said to be looking at a fingerprint on one of the woman's two mobile phones found in a nearby garden.

They have also discovered traces of blood outside the house.

Meredith Kercher
Meredith Kercher was on a study year in Perugia

On Saturday night plain clothes policemen were seen in the student bars around the city, interviewing anyone who may have seen Miss Kercher on Halloween night.

They believe she may have left a friend's house on Thursday night to see a man she had met the previous night.

Miss Kercher, from Coulsdon, south London, was found dead partially clothed under a duvet in her locked bedroom.

Torch-lit procession

Police think the killer left through the front door and smashed the bedroom window to make it seem like a break-in.

But there are other lines of inquiry. Perugia has a high number of heroin addicts, and the student house is close to an underground car park used by dealers.

An English teacher from the university told the BBC that a former housemate complained last term that addicts were often seen in a nearby street and syringes had been found in the garden.

On Monday night hundreds of students and local residents are expected to join a torch-lit procession through the city streets in memory of the dead student.

Miss Kercher's father John has said he will be flying to Italy. He has been quoted as saying he plans to identify his daughter's body "as soon as possible", but neither the police nor the British Embassy gave any further details on when he would arrive.



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Footage of the house where the student was found



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