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Monday, 29 October, 2001, 13:22 GMT
Woodland murders 'breakthrough'
Police officers hunt for clues during 1973 investigation
Officers scour the woods for clues in 1973
Detectives investigating the murders of two teenage girls 28 years ago have uncovered vital new evidence into their deaths.

Forensic tests carried out by police scientists have revealed a connection between the 1973 killings of Pauline Floyd,16, and Geraldine Hughes,16, in Llandarcy and the murder of teenager Sandra Newton.

Ms Newton's body was found in a culvert beneath a mountain roadway in Tonmawr, Neath, three months before Pauline and Geraldine were killed in September.

This is a new and very exciting development which takes the two investigations to a new phase

Detective Chief Superintendent Wynne Phillips
The 16-year-old had been returning home after a night out with friends in the area.

Her killer was never caught.

Detective Chief Superintendent Wynne Phillips, head of South Wales Police CID said: "This is a new and very exciting development which takes the two investigations to a new phase.

"However, it has also lead us to reflect very carefully upon what was occurring in this particular area of West Glamorgan during this period in time.

Geraldine Hughes
Geraldine Hughes and her friend had been strangled
"I will be looking at how these two cases can be brought together and the best way to support the inquiry team."

Detectives will also be looking across the UK to see if there are links to any other cases.

Mr Phillips added: "We are planning to consult further with experts from the National Crime Faculty and Forensic Science Service as this development brings a unique set of circumstances to South Wales Police which could have national considerations."

Pauline and Geraldine were last seen hitch-hiking home after a night out in Swansea.

Police website

Witnesses later saw them being picked up on the outskirts of the city by the driver of a light coloured car.

Sandra Newton, went missing on July 14 after an evening out with friends in Briton Ferry.

Her body was found three days later.

The force have devoted a special section of their website to the unsolved murders of the two teenagers as well as staging a reconstruction on BBC's Crimewatch programme.

Pauline Hughes
Police are still hunting Geraldine Hughes killer
Police even investigated a connection with the serial killer Fred West who had lived close to Llandarcy, near Neath, at the time the 16-year-olds were killed.

Officers later ruled out any connection with West following DNA checks.

In September last year detectives extracted the DNA profile of a man from 27-year-old crime scene samples in order to create a profile of the killer or killers.

An operation to screen people link to the Llandarcy case has been ongoing since the DNA was extracted.

BBC Wales's Geraint Vincent
"Forensic science has now revealed that the killings were linked"
See also:

13 Jun 01 | Wales
Website hope for woods murder
02 Nov 00 | Wales
DNA breakthrough in murder case
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