Page last updated at 11:12 GMT, Monday, 16 November 2009

'Good response' in cold case hunt

Josephine Backshall
Josephine Backshall had placed an advert for part-time work

Cold case detectives said they have had a "good response" to an appeal for information about the murder of a Hertfordshire woman 35 years ago.

The body of Josephine Backshall, 39, of Maldon, Essex, was discovered in Bury Green near Bishop's Stortford on 1 November 1974.

Earlier this month her three children appealed for anyone with information about her murder to come forward.

Investigator Richard Moulder thanked people who have contacted his team.

"We have had a good response from the public following the appeal and we will be following up on these calls over the next few weeks", said Mr Moulder from the cold case review team.

"We'd like to thank those who have contacted us and urge anyone else who may have any information relating to the murder of Josephine Backshall to call us on 0845 33 00 222.

"Remember that any information you can give, however small, could prove vital to this investigation and help to bring Josephine's killer to justice."

Wristwatch stopped

Mrs Backshall's children, Christopher, Sarah and Emma, who were aged 12, 10 and seven at the time, appealed for information earlier this month.

She was last seen by her family at about 1800 GMT on Tuesday 29 October 1974, when she left her home to keep an appointment in Witham, Essex.

He body was discovered in a field off Bury Green Lane, which leads to Bury Green, on the morning of 1 November.

The spot was almost 35 miles away from her home. Her wristwatch had stopped at 8.10.

Mrs Backshall had placed an advert in her local papers for part-time work in Maldon and on 29 October had a phone call from someone she may have referred to as "Peter".

She arranged to meet him at 1830 GMT that night and at about 1915 GMT a red Ford Cortina Mk 3, believed to be hers, was seen in Collingwood Road, Witham, with the bonnet up.

It is also possible she was in the company of a man at the Fountain pub in Good Easter at 2230 GMT.

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