Page last updated at 00:58 GMT, Monday, 21 December 2009

Woman's petrol-dousing murder prompts Crimewatch appeal

Tracey Mertens
Tracey Mertens suffered 95% burns

Detectives trying to find two men who killed a mother by setting her alight are renewing their appeal 15 years after her death.

Tracy Mertens, 31, from Rochdale, was abducted in Birmingham and doused in petrol in a Cheshire churchyard on 23 December, 1994. She died hours later.

The appeal featured on BBC One's Crimewatch on Monday.

Ms Mertens managed to tell officers how she was abducted in Nechells by two men searching for her partner Joey.

Det Ch Insp Paul Bailey, of Cheshire Police, said: "Tracey's was a cruel and painful death.

"There are many unanswered questions and we are hoping that viewers of Crimewatch can provide us with some crucial answers as to why a loving mum, with no known enemies, should have her life taken from her in such a callous way."

Birmingham accents

Ms Mertens, who had two young children, had set off from her home in Rochdale on 22 December to collect belongings from her previous home in Nechells.

Cheshire Police said she and partner Joey had moved from their Birmingham home five weeks earlier.

The mother, who suffered 95% burns in the attack, told officers how she was blindfolded and bundled into a tatty yellow Ford Escort before being set alight.

She described her abductors as two black men, aged about 30, big and fat in build and with Birmingham accents.

Anyone with information about her murder should contact Cheshire Police.



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