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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 March 2006, 12:11 GMT
Missing nurse 'has been murdered'
Jennifer Pope
Jennifer Pope left for her trip last September
Police who are searching for the missing nurse Jennifer Pope in Ecuador have said they believe she is dead.

Jennifer Pope, 50, of Mossley, Greater Manchester, has not been in contact with her family since 9 January.

Police from Greater Manchester flew to South America after her bank account was emptied and she failed to board her flight home from Quito last month.

Officers have obtained CCTV footage of a man making withdrawals from the account in Banos, Ecuador.

I never give up hope, but having been here for a week, I cannot see any other explanation for her disappearance
Det Supt Kevin Duffy

Det Supt Kevin Duffy, from GMP's Major Incident Team, travelled to the South American country with Det Insp Derek Weaver and Det Con Amanda Murray, both from Tameside CID.

The officers planned to travel to Quito, Banos and Santa Domingo - where Mrs Pope's cash card was used to withdraw money from a bank.

They said at a press conference in Ecuador on Monday they believed she may have been murdered.

The day after Mrs Pope last contacted her family, five withdrawals were made at the Bank of Pichincha in Banos in the space of just three minutes.

Travelling alone

CCTV footage of a man making the withdrawals has been described as "not very good" and is being flown to Britain to be enhanced by experts.

Asked if they thought she was dead, Det Supt Duffy said: "I never give up hope, but having been here for a week, I cannot see any other explanation for her disappearance."

Mrs Pope, known as Jen, was travelling alone and left for her trip in September last year.

She was due home on 20 February, but in her last e-mail Mrs Pope had indicated to her husband David Pope, 57, and son Stefan, 22, that she would like to return home earlier.

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