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Last Updated: Sunday, 8 June, 2003, 13:49 GMT 14:49 UK
Man held over 1984 murder
Hilda Murrell
Hilda Murrell's stabbed body was found in woodland in 1984
Police have been given more time to question a man in connection with the murder of an elderly peace campaigner 19 years ago.

Hilda Murrell's body was found in woods six miles from her home in Shrewsbury.

The 78-year-old had been stabbed and left to die from hypothermia.

Miss Murrell was the aunt of Commander Robert Green and there were claims at the time of her death in March 1984 she might have hidden documents about the Belgrano's sinking two years earlier.

Security services

There were even suggestions, because of the mysterious circumstances surrounding her death, that she had been murdered by the security services.

West Mercia Police said they have been given a further 36 hours to question a man in his 40s from the Shrewsbury area who was arrested on Friday afternoon in connection Miss Murrell's murder.

Her house had been broken into and the spinster was found dead in wood six miles from her home.

Police investigating the incident in 1984 and again in 1994 ruled out any security service involvement in the murder and said they were convinced Miss Murrell was killed after disturbing an intruder at her home.

West Mercia Police said Friday's arrest was the culmination of a fresh look at the case which started in April 2002.

Anti-nuclear campaign

Officers working on the case had 3,000 statements, 500 reports from officers, 6,000 lines of inquiry and over 3,000 exhibits to re-evaluate.

Police say relatives of Miss Murrell have been kept fully informed both on the progress of the case review, and of the arrest.

The anti-nuclear campaigner had been due to give evidence at the public inquiry into the proposed Sizewell B nuclear reactor in Suffolk.

Her death has been the subject of at least three previous police inquiries, as well as TV documentaries, books and plays.

The BBC's Jane Warr
"At the time, theories circulated that Mrs Murrell had been killed by a member of the secret service"

Murder mystery findings delayed
22 Oct 02  |  England
Murder mystery case reopened
04 Apr 02  |  England

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