Page last updated at 12:17 GMT, Friday, 25 July 2008 13:17 UK

Tooze murder case is scaled down

Harry and Megan Tooze
The killer of Harry and Megan Tooze has never been found

The inquiry into the 1993 murder of an elderly farming couple has been scaled down as police say all lines of enquiry have been exhausted.

Harry and Megan Tooze in Llanharry, near Bridgend were killed at their remote farmhouse 15 years ago on Saturday.

Their future son-in-law Jonathan Jones was jailed for their murders in 1995, but released in 1996 on appeal.

South Wales Police say just one officer remains assigned to the case.

The bodies of the couple were discovered in a cow shed - they had been shot at close range in an execution-style killing.

But the killer or killers have never been traced despite police taking more than 1,500 statements.

A poster campaign was launched in Llanharry in July 2005, in an attempt to jog people's memories.

It is important that the force now turns its attention to other unsolved crimes in South Wales which may benefit from extra resourcesquote here
Det Insp Gareth Heatley

As a result, police said new information was gathered and a team of detectives were working on following up the new leads.

But that team has now been scaled down to to allow officers to focus on other unsolved crimes in the force area.

The remaining officer on the case, Det Insp Gareth Heatley, is a point of contact for any new information or forensic developments that could be used.

He said: "The decision has been made because all lines of inquiry, and forensic opportunities relating to the case, have now been exhausted by investigators.

"However, it is important to stress that the inquiry has not been closed.

"The public can be assured that any new information which is received in relation to this case will be fully investigated so in that sense it remains a live inquiry.

The Tooze's cow shed
The bodies of Harry and Megan Tooze were found in their cow shed

"Advances in forensic science and policing techniques will also be explored on an ongoing basis, in a bid to revive the existing leads or to develop new ones.

"We still believe that there is information out there and support the appeal for people to come forward."

He added: "We have kept the family of Harry and Megan Tooze fully updated on these developments, and realise they are deeply disappointed the case remains unsolved.

"In light of the current situation, it is important that the force now turns its attention to other unsolved crimes in south Wales which may benefit from extra resources."

Mr and Mrs Tooze were last seen alive as they returned home from a shopping trip in their Land Rover at around 1100 BST on 26 July, 1993.

Police said neighbours heard the sound of gunshots coming from the area of their farm at 1330 BST and a relative who tried to contact them by phone at 1500 BST could get no reply.

Their bodies were found during the early hours of the next day hidden in a cow shed attached to their home.

After being released by the appeal court, Jonathan Jones went on to marry the murdered couple's only daughter Cheryl, who had campaigned for his release.


SEE ALSO
Fresh leads in 1993 farm murders
11 Jan 06 |  South East Wales
New clues in Tooze case
05 Feb 03 |  Wales

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