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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 July, 2003, 10:38 GMT 11:38 UK
Murdered schoolgirl named
Jodi Jones
Jodi Jones was the victim of a vicious attack
A 14-year-old girl found murdered in woodland near a school has been named as Jodi Jones.

Her body was discovered by a family friend who was searching for her after she failed to return home on Monday evening.

Police cordoned off the area, near a path at the back of the Newbattle Community High School in Dalkeith, Midlothian, after the grim discovery at about 2230 BST.

A Lothian and Borders Police spokesman said: "Her death was as a result of violence and is being treated as murder."

Jodi lived in the Easthouses area and was a pupil at St David's RC High School in Dalkieth.

Woodland path

Police said she had left home at about 1730 BST and had been due back at 2200 BST.

When she failed to return, it is understood her mother phoned round friends before contacting the police.

Police said the path, to the rear of the high school and close to Newbattle Road, was regularly used by dog walkers.

A forensic team was at the scene throughout the night.

This young girl suffered a violent death and we need to speak to anyone who may have information regarding her death
DS Craig Dobbie

The spokesman described the killing as "particularly violent".

A police cordon remained in place, closing off a section of the path and part of the school grounds.

The school also stayed open as police teams continued to scour an adjoining field as part of their investigation.

Detective Superintendent Craig Dobbie, who is heading the investigation, appealed to anyone with information to come forward.

Murder scene
The girl's body was found at the back of Newbattle Community School
He said: "This young girl suffered a violent death and we need to speak to anyone who may have information regarding her death.

"The path near to where her body was found is used by members of the public as a shortcut from Easthouses to Newbattle Road, Dalkeith. It is also commonly used by people walking their dogs.

"We would particularly appeal to anyone who uses this path, or was near it, between 5pm and 10pm last night to contact the incident room."

Sheila Marie Gillespie, 34, who lives close to the scene, said she was shocked to hear of the grim discovery.

Mrs Gillespie said: "I can't believe it. I have two kids of my own and for something like this to happen is shocking."

An incident room has been set up at Dalkeith Police Station.

The BBC's John Morrison
"This girl met a violent death"

Shock at schoolgirl's murder
01 Jul 03  |  Scotland

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