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Last Updated: Friday, 30 September 2005, 08:09 GMT 09:09 UK
Model murder link to 2001 attack
Sally Anne Bowman
Sally was wearing this same top when she was killed
Police hunting the man who murdered a teenage model have said they could be looking for a serial sex attacker.

Detectives say forensic evidence has linked the fatal stabbing of Sally Anne Bowman, 18, to another sex attack in Purley, south London, in 2001.

Miss Bowman's partially clothed body was found yards from her home in South Croydon, south London, on Sunday.

Three men arrested over her death, including an ex-boyfriend, have been released without charge.

A 26-year-old man has been released on police bail.

SUSPECT'S DESCRIPTION
White man
Aged in his 20s or 30s
5ft 9ins to 6ft tall
Proportionate build
Short dark hair and clean shaven
At the time of the attack he could have been wearing dark trousers or jeans and long sleeve top

At a press conference Det Ch Insp Stuart Cundy said the suspect may have committed other attacks and appealed for women who have been sexually assaulted in the area to come forward.

He also urged women in the South Croydon and Purley area to be vigilant.

DCI Cundy said Miss Bowan's murder had been forensically linked with the 2001 attack, and the description given by the earlier victim - who survived - was very similar.

A knife had not been used in the previous incident, he added.

DCI Cundy holds up a white Prada bag and mobile phone similar to those taken from Miss Bowman
A white Prada bag similar to this was stolen from Miss Bowman

He said he could not rule out the possibility that the attacker may have been lying in wait for his victim.

DCI Cundy said Miss Bowman was in Lloyds Bar in Croydon town centre with her sister and friends from 2200 BST until 0100 BST before going back to a friend's house.

Miss Bowman then caught a cab back to the town centre where she was picked up by her ex-boyfriend and dropped off near her home in Blenheim Crescent.

He said he believes she was attacked between 0415 BST and 0430 BST. He said her former boyfriend, who has been forensically ruled out, had left before this time.

Brit School

Her white Prada leather, half-moon handbag and mobile phone, a Samsung D500, are still missing.

"It may be that the person who killed Sally Anne discarded them whilst leaving the scene, or he may have sold them on," DCI Cundy said.

"Maybe they have been sold on to you? Or maybe you found them and kept them?

Sally Anne was a kind, loveable girl who brought love and warmth to all that met her
A statement from Sally Anne's family

"If this is the case, I would urge you to contact me. You won't be in trouble for having them, but it is evidence which would help our inquiry."

Sally Anne was wearing white high-heeled sandals, a short blue denim skirt, and a white bodice top.

DCI Cundy also wanted information about the murder weapon, urging anyone who has seen a discarded knife to come forward.

Miss Bowman was a part-time model and hairdresser, as well as a student at the Brit School for performing arts in Croydon.

On Thursday her family paid tribute to her kindness and warmth.

In a statement, they said: "Sally Anne was a kind, loveable girl who brought love and warmth to all that met her.

"Her mum, dad and sisters miss her terribly and her death has shattered the family."


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