Page last updated at 14:56 GMT, Sunday, 28 March 2010 15:56 UK

New funding for unsolved murder cases

Eve Stratford
The 1975 murder of Eve Stratford is among cases, the People said

A major police operation investigating unsolved murders will carry on until the end of 2011 thanks to new funding.

Operation Stealth, which has been running for two years working with 21 forces in England and Wales, was in doubt because of police cuts.

Project manager Geoff White said an extra £100,000 from the Home Office meant it would go on.

The People newspaper said more than 600 murders dating back years had been whittled down to 50.

The paper said police chiefs believed the cases could lead to dozens of killers being convicted.

Officers were examining cases in which minute quantities of blood, bodily fluids and tissues were found at the scene and kept for future checks, it said.

Forensic experts would use advances in DNA technology to try to solve cases, the paper added.

1987 murders

"We are very pleased that we have received an additional £100,000 which will mean that, alongside current funding, we will be able to continue the project through 2010 and into 2011," Mr White said in a statement issued by the Association of Chief Police Officers.

Lynne Weedon
Lynne Weedon, 16, was raped and killed in September 1975

The 1987 murders of two women in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, are among those being investigated in Operation Stealth, according to the People.

Wendy Knell, 26, was found dead in a bedsit in June of that year while Caroline Pierce, 20, was attacked outside her bedsit in the town six months later.

Ms Pierce's body was later discovered in a dyke on Romney Marsh.

The murders of Eve Stratford, 22, who was stabbed to death in Leyton, east London, in 1975, and Lynne Weedon, 16, who was raped and killed in Hounslow, west London, later that year, are also being investigated, the paper said.

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