Page last updated at 07:38 GMT, Wednesday, 14 April 2010 08:38 UK

Don't walk alone plea after Porthmadog woman's murder

Ffion Wyn Roberts
Ffion Wyn Roberts was found strangled after a night out in Tremadog

People living in a town where a young woman was found strangled in a disused canal ditch are being warned not to walk alone late at night.

Police on the murder inquiry said extra patrols have been put on to reassure people in Porthmadog, Gwynedd after the death of 22-year-old Ffion Wyn Roberts.

The nursing home worker's body was found on Saturday.

Police are appealing for witnesses and for photos taken by pub-goers in nearby Tremadog late on Friday.

Officers leading the inquiry say there is nothing to suggest the murder of Ms Roberts early on Saturday was anything other than a one-off attack.

Her body was found in a stretch of water in Porthmadog town centre known as Y Cyt.

In addition to people's mobile phone images, the inquiry team also want to hear from any businesses or householders who have CCTV cameras which were active on Friday night and the early hours of Saturday and which may show some of the street scene.


Porthmadog Football Club will hold a minute's silence in memory of Ffion Wyn Roberts

Det Supt Peter Chalinor, who is leading a team of 100 officers in the investigation, said: "There may just be something that they can tell us or we can see from an image that might help the investigation."

Police have been sending messages via Bluetooth to people's mobile phones in the area asking for any information which may help in the investigation.

A number of people who were in the Union, and two other local pubs, the Fleece and the Madoc, are said to have already come forward with information and photos taken on phones.

But officers believe that there may be more available.

Police at the scene in Porthmadog
Police want to trace photos taken in the hours before the killing

North Wales Police have also said they were keeping an "open mind" about whether Ms Roberts' death was linked to assaults on women in the area in the past month.

In Pwllheli, around 14 miles (22.5km) away, police are investigating two attacks a week apart.

Meanwhile, people in Porthmadog have continued to pay tribute to Ms Roberts.

Ceri Roberts, the director of Plasgwyn Nursing Home, where Ms Roberts had worked for two-and-a-half years, said she was popular with both staff and residents and "praised highly" by families.

"She was always caring, friendly and always willing to help, and had a very lively happy nature.

"The management and staff at Plasgwyn thought the world of Ffion 'bach' [Welsh for little] and she will be greatly missed."

A minute's silence will be held in Ms Roberts' memory at Porthmadog FC's Traeth football ground on Wednesday ahead of an evening fixture, and police will hand out appeal leaflets.

Ms Roberts was said to be a "passionate" football fan, supporting her local team and Everton.

Murder scene in Porthmadog
Her body was found in a stretch of water in Porthmadog

She served tea and coffee at Porthmadog FC's canteen at home games, as well as helping provide after-match food for the players.

The club said she was a "much loved face" and they were "shocked and stunned". A second silence will be held before Porthmadog's match with Port Talbot on Saturday.

A retired minister who has been comforting Ms family said they were in "agony and tears".

Dewi Morris, who knows Ms Roberts' parents and grandparents, said: "I must say that when I visited them, they were in real agony and tears.

"And, of course, as you can imagine, nothing worse could happen to any family than what's happened to them."

In a statement issued via police, Ms Roberts' family appealed for people to help the investigation.

Her father, Idris, said: "Ffion was thoughtful and caring and always put others before herself.

"She went into caring and had found her niche caring for others."

Anyone who was in the area of Tremadog or Porthmadog between the hours of 0330 GMT and 0800 GMT on Saturday is asked to call the police's incident room on 01745 538 474.

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