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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 December 2006, 21:19 GMT
Body removed in murders inquiry
Annette Nicholls
Annette Nicholls, 29, was reported missing by her family

Officers investigating the murder of three prostitutes and the discovery of two more suspected victims have removed one body from woodland near Ipswich.

The body has been taken away by Suffolk Police to establish the cause of death and the victim's identity.

Police said it was likely the body, found close to another in Levington, is one of two missing prostitutes.

Paula Clennell, 24, and Annette Nicholls, 29, have not been seen for several days.

Officers are also checking reports a handbag and clothes had been found in the River Orwell, near Ipswich.

A police spokeswoman said: "We are checking to see whether those reports are true and, if they are, to establish the significance of any finds."

Detectives said earlier the latest victims - whose bodies were found on Tuesday - had not died at the scenes, and had been dumped in the wooded areas where they were found.

The other body is likely to remain at the scene until Thursday.

It is important that if anyone has concerns for the safety of a prostitute in Ipswich that they contact us immediately
Det Ch Supt Stewart Gull

Police have linked the murders of Gemma Adams, 25, Tania Nicol, 19, and Anneli Alderton, 24, whose bodies were found in nearby villages within 10 days.

Det Ch Supt Stewart Gull said all five deaths bore "striking similarities" in that the women had been found naked and in a rural environment.

A number of people are helping police with their inquiries, but no-one has been arrested.

Officers are working through more than 2,000 calls made on Tuesday in what is now the biggest criminal inquiry in Suffolk Police's history.

Ambulance taking away one of the bodies

Home Office pathologist Dr Nat Carey, who carried out post-mortems examinations on the three murdered prostitutes, will examine the bodies.

A picture of the prostitutes working in the area and their clients was gradually being built up, the officer said.

Despite appeals for the women to keep off the streets, there are some continuing to work through desperation for money to buy drugs and Christmas presents.

Home Secretary John Reid and Downing Street have contacted Suffolk's Chief Constable Alastair McWhirter to make sure he has enough resources to deal with the current murder inquiry.

The prime minister's spokesman said officials were assured Mr McWhirter was "happy" with the level of resources he had.

Site where two women's bodies found

At Commons question time, the prime minister said there was "entirely understandable fear" in the community in Ipswich and said all MPs would want to send their sympathy to the people of Suffolk and the relatives of the victims.

The sites where the two bodies were found on Tuesday is off the main A14 trunk road between Ipswich and Felixstowe docks close to a railway line, the Orwell estuary and a marina.

It is near to where the body of Miss Alderton who had moved to the area from Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, was found on Sunday in Nacton.

The body of Miss Adams was found on 2 December in woodland at Hintlesham, on the outskirts of Ipswich. She had last been seen on 15 November.

On 8 December the body of Miss Nicol was found in nearby Copdock. She was the first to go missing and had last been seen on 30 October.

Map showing where bodies found

Forensic scientists search for clues in and around Ipswich


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