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Friday, 16 August, 2002, 05:26 GMT 06:26 UK
Fresh clues in Joanna murder hunt
Joanna Parrish
No-one has been charged with Joanna's murder
The father of a student murdered in France 12 years ago is "hopeful" of tracing her killer after investigators unearthed fresh clues.

The naked and bound body of Joanna Parrish, 21, was found floating in the river Yonne, near Auxerre, in May 1990.

Roger Parrish, who lives in Newnham-on-Severn, Gloucestershire, said new documents reveal police arrested a suspect weeks just after her body was found.

The family's Paris lawyer said a new inquiry has also found evidence that two men were involved in the murder.


It is heartening there are new leads in the investigation

Roger Parrish
Mr Parrish said investigators had found a statement by police who arrested a man suspected of involvement in his daughter's murder.

The man was arrested shortly after Joanna's body was found but the suspect was released due to a lack of evidence, Mr Parrish said.

He said the man's name had never been put forward before in the inquiry but investigators had given very few details.

"It is heartening there are new leads in the investigation," said Mr Parrish, a retired civil servant.

"However, these documents raise lots of questions but don't provide many answers."

He has asked the investigation team in France for more details, working with his ex-wife Pauline Sewell, Joanna's mother.

"We've realised over the last 12 years that we simply can't keep it going seven-days-a-week, 52 weeks a year," he said.

"There are times when we're motivated and times when we're keeping things going."

DNA evidence

The student's murder is being re-examined as part of an inquiry by the French judicial inspection service.

The inquiry is examining allegations of incompetence, cover-ups and sabotage surrounding the cases of 16 other young women who have died or disappeared in the area in the last 30 years.

The family lawyer Xavier Autain, based in Paris, said: "There is new DNA evidence which shows two men were involved in the attack.

"We're trying to get more information from the authorities but I haven't got any answers from them."

Ms Parrish was teaching English at a school in Auxerre during a year out from Leeds University when she disappeared.

She vanished after meeting a man who answered her newspaper advert offering private English lessons, her body was found a day later.

No-one has ever been arrested for her murder.


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15 Feb 02 | England
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