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Friday, 26 April, 2002, 16:41 GMT 17:41 UK
Murders suspect to be exhumed
Crimewatch reconstruction of murders
The murders have remained unsolved for 28 years
South Wales Police have been granted a licence by the Home Office to exhume the body a man linked to the 1973 Llandarcy murders.

He is the prime suspect linked to the brutal killings of teenagers Geraldine Hughes and Pauline Floyd.

Geraldine Hughes
Geraldine Hughes: Case re-investigated

They were found raped and strangled in woodland at Llandarcy, near Neath, on 16 September, 28 years ago.

The suspect has also been connected with the murder of Sandra Newton, three months before the Llandarcy killings.

Detectives from Operation Magnum will now examine the remains of a man who died in 1990 to discover if his DNA matches evidence kept from the murder scene.

The exhumation is due to take place at Goytre Cemetery, Port Talbot, on 16 May.

Detectives hope the use of genetic profiling will mean they are finally on the verge of closing the case.

Prime suspect

Ten months ago, detectives began DNA profiling of 350 of the 30,000 people who were originally spoken to by police in 1973 in connection with the double murders.

The victims had last been seen accepting a lift in Swansea from a man in a white car, who was never traced.

Pauline Floyd
Pauline Floyd: Found murdered

After painstaking detective work combined with genetic profiling techniques, officers finally came up with a part profile of a suspect at the end of last year.

He is said to have been the driver of a white car with a history of violence.

If DNA analysis links the dead man to the murders, police will issue a statement announcing officers are no longer looking for any person in connection with the crimes.

'Genetic fingerprint'

The DNA breakthrough came when members of the dead man's family cooperated with police in providing genetic data, which provided a partial match with a stain found at the scene of the Llandarcy murders.

The partial DNA match with the crime scene stain produced a "genetic fingerprint".

But the process of eliminating hundreds of people from the re-investigation meant months of wading through dusty case files.

The murder team has been extremely cautious in taking the investigation forward, aware that any pitfalls could derail the inquiry.

See also:

19 Dec 01 | Wales
Murders suspect may be exhumed
29 Oct 01 | Wales
Woodland murders 'breakthrough'
15 Sep 01 | Wales
Fresh appeal on woods murders
13 Jun 01 | Wales
Website hope for woods murder
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