[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 14 December 2006, 10:19 GMT
Plea for murdered women's clothes
Annette Nicholls
Annette Nicholls, 29, was reported missing by her family

Officers investigating the deaths of five women, all found naked, say they urgently want to find their clothing.

Three prostitutes have been murdered and two more suspected victims have been found in woodland near Ipswich.

The remains found at Levington in Suffolk are thought to be those of Paula Clennell and Annette Nicholls.

Officers are trying to establish if a jacket dragged from the River Orwell and a handbag found in Ipswich are significant to their inquiries.

They have also said they would like to speak to the driver of a blue BMW car that murdered prostitute from Essex Annelie Alderton was reported as getting into before her body was discovered.

Det Ch Supt Stewart Gull said the force had received a number of calls from the public about clothing found at different locations across Ipswich.

"Clearly, we're still looking for confirmed sightings of where the girls were and what they were actually wearing," he said.

"So we don't actually know what we've got - but we've seized it and secured it at this time."

When asked about the reports of Miss Alderton getting into a blue BMW car he said: "We would like to speak to the man but we're still trying to confirm Annelie's last movements.

"We know she caught a train last Sunday in Essex but what was she doing between Sunday and Thursday when she was seen at the scene at Nacton."

One of the bodies found at Levington has been moved to Ipswich Hospital where a post-mortem examination was carried out by Home Office pathologist Dr Nat Carey.

Officers are expected to move a second body from the woodland after a forensic examination is completed at the scene.

Detectives said the victims had not died where their bodies were found.

Police have not confirmed that they are linking the deaths with similar cases concerning prostitutes in Norfolk or other parts of the country.

Police have linked the murders of Gemma Adams, 25, Tania Nicol, 19, and Anneli Alderton, 24, whose bodies were found in nearby villages within 10 days.

Det Ch Supt Gull said all five deaths bore "striking similarities" in that the women had been found naked and in a rural environment.

Paula Clennell
Paula Clennell has not been seen since Saturday

Vice-chair of the Association of Chief Police Officers homicide working group, Dave Johnston, has been brought in to assess and advise on the progress of the inquiry.

He said: "This ranks amongst the most serious and resource intensive inquiries that I have ever been involved in."

He said the deaths of the first three prostitutes have been classed as murder, while the other two have been linked to the murder inquiry.

Mr Johnston added: "[Suffolk Police] will be under considerable pressure because alongside these five murders they have to continue to provide day-to-day policing."

Anneli Alderton, Gemma Adams, Tania Nichol
The bodies of three prostitutes were found earlier this month
In the House of Commons, the prime minister said there was "entirely understandable fear" in the community in Ipswich and said all MPs would want to send their sympathy to the people of Suffolk and the relatives of the victims.

The site where the two bodies were found on Tuesday is off the main A14 trunk road between Ipswich and Felixstowe docks close to a railway line, the Orwell estuary and a marina.

It is near to where the body of Miss Alderton, who had moved to the area from Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, was found on Sunday in Nacton.

The body of Miss Adams was found on 2 December in woodland at Hintlesham, on the outskirts of Ipswich. She had last been seen on 15 November.

On 8 December the body of Miss Nicol was found in nearby Copdock. She was the first to go missing and had last been seen on 30 October.

Map showing where bodies found

Forensic scientists search for clues in and around Ipswich


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific