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Last Updated: Monday, 4 February 2008, 13:06 GMT
'No link' between brutal murders
Heather Barnett
The body of Ms Barnett was found by her children in November 2002
Police investigating the brutal murder of a woman who had cut hair placed in both hands have ruled out links with the murder of a British woman in Spain.

Heather Barnett, 48, was found by her children, then 11 and 14, stabbed at home in Bournemouth, Dorset, in 2002.

Police said they had made "routine inquiries with Spanish police via Interpol" to check any DNA links with the murder of Yvonne O'Brien in 1999.

Ms O'Brien, of West Yorkshire, was stabbed and mutilated in Majorca.

Her stomach had been cut open and she was found hanging in her villa in Puerto de Alcudia.

The Spanish words for "love", "sex" and "peace" were scrawled on a wall in her blood.

A Dorset Police spokesman said: "At this time we do not believe there is link between the murders of Heather Barnett and Yvonne O'Brien.

Italian police

"The investigation continues to follow many lines of inquiry both at home and abroad."

Detectives investigating Ms Barnett's murder have appealed several times on BBC1's Crimewatch programme for help in tracing the owner of the cut hair placed in Ms Barnett's hands.

Analysis of the 9cm (4in) strands of hair showed the owner visited an area between Valencia and Almeria in eastern Spain and the Marseille to Perpignan area of southern France for up to six days, some eleven weeks before the hair was cut.

Yvonne O'Brien
Yvonne O'Brien was murdered in Majorca in 1999

The owner of the hair also visited the urban area of Tampa in Florida, US, for between eight and 17 days before the hair was cut, according to experts.

The body of Ms Barnett was discovered by her son, Terry, then 14, and daughter Caitlin, who was 11, in her flat in Capstone Road, Charminster, in November 2002.

Dorset Police have also been working with Interpol and the Italian authorities to investigate possible links with the disappearance of 16-year-old Elisa Claps, from Potenza in southern Italy, in September, 1993.

The body of Ms Claps has never been found.



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