Page last updated at 11:30 GMT, Thursday, 8 October 2009 12:30 UK

Woman's bones left 'like garbage'


Pat and Steve Hall: "All we have now is a bag of bones"

The parents of Melanie Hall, whose bones were discovered next to a motorway, have expressed their anger over the way her body was dumped.

Detectives have confirmed they are treating Ms Hall's death as murder, following her disappearance in 1996.

At a press conference her mother Pat spoke of her anguish at her daughter's body being left next to the M5 motorway near Bristol "like a bag of garbage".

Officers said their determination to catch her killer was "absolute".

Det Supt Mike Courtiour, of Avon and Somerset Police, revealed Ms Hall's bones had been left in black bin liners and remained undiscovered for a "very considerable time".

Melanie Hall
Melanie Hall's remains were found on Monday

Her remains were discovered hidden in undergrowth on junction 14 of the M5, on the junction for Thornbury, on Monday.

Ms Hall, who worked as a clerical officer at Bath's Royal United Hospital, was last seen at Cadillacs nightclub in Walcott Street, at about 0100 on 9 June.

Describing her killing as a "horrendous" crime, Ms Hall's father Steve said: "Thirteen years ago we had a young, vibrant daughter. Happy and with a future in front of her. Today we have a bag of bones.

"We desperately need to know what happened to Melanie on the night she left the nightclub in Bath."

Her parents identified a ring from a photograph on Tuesday, but formal identification of Ms Hall's body was made through dental records, on Wednesday.

Det Supt Courtiour said: "The investigation into her disappearance has never been closed.

"Now, finding her body offers us a new and crucial opportunity for anyone who has information to come forward."

'Where, who and why?'

Mrs Hall said she had always suspected her daughter had been murdered.

"Over the last 13 years we have had three things we wanted to know," she said.

"Where Melanie was. Who was involved with what is now her murder and why. What were the circumstances that led to her murder?"

Det Supt Mike Courtiour: "There is clear evidence Melanie Hall was unlawfully killed"

Despite a £10,000 reward offered for information, and her disappearance being featured on a Crimestoppers special, no trace of the hospital clerical worker had been found, until Monday.

In March 2003 two men from the Bath area were arrested, questioned and released on police bail, but no charges were brought.

Ms Hall was last seen alive, sitting on a stool at the edge of the dance floor at Cadillacs.

Witnesses said she had argued with her surgeon boyfriend, Dr Philip Karlbaum, who left the club "upset" after seeing her dancing with another man.

Dr Karlbaum, now a 46-year-old father of two living in Charlton Kings, Gloucestershire, said: "I was so very sorry to hear the news.

"My thoughts are with Melanie's family and friends at this difficult time."

Map shows where Melanie Hall was last seen and where bones were found

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