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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 11:38 GMT
Police make Marsha murder link
Marsha McDonnell
Marsha was found yards from her parent's home
Detectives investigating the murder of student Marsha McDonnell have confirmed they are investigating a similar attack that took place nearby.

Police said that on 8 January, a 17-year-old woman from the Strawberry Hill area of south-west London was on her way back from the local shops, listening to a walkman when she appeared to have fallen.

It had been snowing heavily and when she was discovered shortly afterwards by her father, she and her family assumed that the icy conditions made her fall.

Since then a pathologist has confirmed that a 6cm deep cut to her head is consistent with being heavily struck once with a blunt instrument.

Fractured cheek

Unfortunately, the teenager was unable to remember what had happened.

She was treated in hospital for a serious head injury, concussion, a fractured cheek and a ruptured eye socket, which was believed to have been caused when she landed heavily on the ground.

On hearing of Marsha's murder, the parents grew concerned that their daughter could in fact have been the victim of an attack, and on 5 February contacted police.

Miss McDonnell, 19, died on 4 February after being clubbed three times over the head, as she returned home from a night at the cinema with friends in south-west London.

'Extremely traumatised'

She was just yards from her home in Priory Road, Hampton, when she was found.

Investigating officer DCS David Cook said the 17-year-old victim is "extremely traumatised".

He added: "We are making exhaustive enquiries to establish whether the two attacks were committed by the same person and concern is growing that this may be the case.

"However, we are appealing to any witnesses who were in the area of Strawberry Hill on 8 January at approximately 0900 GMT and who saw anything suspicious to contact us.

"Our 17-year-old female victim is white, approximately 5 ft 5 in tall, slim and was wearing a black, knee length hooded top and jeans."


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See also:

12 Feb 03 | England
10 Feb 03 | England
08 Feb 03 | England
07 Feb 03 | England
07 Feb 03 | England
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