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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 October, 2003, 17:25 GMT
Murder victim's father pleas for help
Michelle Bettles
Michelle Bettles had been strangled
The father of a young woman found strangled in woodland says more should be done to find her killers.

And he wants former clients of his daughter, who worked as a prostitute, to come forward to help solve the mystery of her death.

Michelle Bettles, who was 22 when she died in March 2002, was found strangled in woods near Dereham in Norfolk.

Her father, John Bettles, told BBC Look East he is afraid what Michelle did for a living may make the case a low priority.

He said: "If she'd been a shop keeper or sales assistant or someone with a normal life, the case would have got the coverage it deserves - and it does deserve it because there are three kids out there with no one to call mum."

Wooded area where Ms Bettles' body was found
The woman's body was found in a wooded area

In August, police reduced the number of officers investigating the killing but said the case would remain open.

At its height, 35 officers were dedicated to the murder inquiry.

A 30-year-old Norwich man arrested earlier this year as part of the investigation was freed without charge.

Ms Bettles was the fourth prostitute from Norwich to disappear or be murdered in 10 years.

Appeal to Michelle's clients

Her father said he hoped her former clients would come forward of their own volition to help police piece together Michelle's final 48 hours.

Mr Bettles said: "At some point the police are going to knock on their door and they're going to be sat down with their wife and kids having their tea."

A few weeks after Michelle's body was found, her mother released pictures of her as a child.

Michelle Bettles as a child
Her mother last year released photos of Michelle as a child
She said she wanted the public to see another side of her daughter, not as a prostitute or drug addict, but as a "happy child" who had fallen under the wrong influences.

Mr Bettles said:" I'm carrying on fighting if this stops one other family going through the pain we've been through then it's worth the effort."

"I'm determined not to see this vanish into the archives."




SEE ALSO:
Woods body: man arrested
03 May 02  |  England
Plea by dead prostitute's mother
03 Apr 02  |  England


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