[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 8 April, 2005, 08:08 GMT 09:08 UK
Letters 'name stolen body site'
Gladys Hammond
Gladys Hammond was the mother-in-law of a guinea pig breeder
Forensic experts are examining letters, claiming to be from animal rights extremists, which offer to reveal the location of a woman's stolen body.

The remains of Gladys Hammond, 82, were taken from a church in Yoxall, Staffs, in October. Her relatives run a guinea pig breeding farm in nearby Newchurch.

A group calling itself the Animal Rights Militia wrote to say part of Mrs Hammond's body was buried locally.

The letters also contain deaths threats against family members and friends.

Mrs Hammond, who was buried in St Peter's churchyard seven years ago, was the mother-in-law of Christopher Hall, part-owner of Darley Oaks Farm.

We have disposed of one body no problem, the next one will be easier
Extract from the letter

The letter states that a relative or friend of the Hall family will be killed if the farm continues breeding guinea pigs.

Staffordshire Police confirmed that experts were examining at least three letters in an effort to establish whether they are directly connected to the theft of Mrs Hammond's body.

One copy was sent to the BBC and another to the Burton Mail newspaper.

The authors claimed that one sixth of Mrs Hammond's remains were entombed in a sealed plastic container, buried 2ft underground in woodland near Newchurch.

Family's 'choice'

The letter said: "We would have returned Gladys had the Halls taken steps towards closing down, but they did nothing.

"The Halls have a choice. If they take steps now to close they may not have to see one of their family or a friend buried... by us.

"We have disposed of one body no problem, the next one will be easier."

A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: "The letters, which are similar in tone to those sent by animal rights extremists in the past, will be subjected to intensive analysis and forensic examination to try and establish their authenticity."


SEE ALSO:
Bail dropped in grave theft case
31 Mar 05 |  Staffordshire
Activists 'no-go' zone rejected
17 Mar 05 |  Staffordshire
Guinea pig farm's family targeted
11 Mar 05 |  Staffordshire


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific