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£50,000 reward to catch a murderer

PUBLISHED: 21:13 21 November 2006 | UPDATED: 07:46 02 March 2010

Karen Hales

Karen Hales

A £50,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of Karen Hales' killer is still on offer today on the 13th anniversary of her murder.

Twelve months to the day after an Evening Star-backed consortium launched the five-figure reward, police are still no closer to catching the 21-year-old's murderer.

A £50,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of Karen Hales' killer is still on offer today on the 13th anniversary of her murder.

Twelve months to the day after an Evening Star-backed consortium launched the five-figure reward, police are still no closer to catching the 21-year-old's murderer.

Karen was stabbed to death and set on fire at her home in Lavenham Road, Ipswich, on November 21, 1993, but despite extensive police work, no one was brought to justice.

Today, Karen's mum renewed her appeal to the public to come forward with any information that might lead to the conviction of her daughter's killer.

Geraldine Hales said the family needed answers and would keep fighting for justice for Karen.

She said: “You get used to dealing with it but you know it will never go away and you will never forget her. We want justice.

“It is just in the back of your mind 'why did this person, him or her, do this?'

“We have got no reason and that is the hardest part to deal with - there is no reason why.”

Mrs Hales said she had been optimistic that the launch of the reward would lead police to her daughter's killer and said it had been difficult reliving Karen's death so publicly at the launch of last year's appeal at Endeavour House, Ipswich.

She added: “I am very disappointed. The traumatic time Graham (Karen's dad) and I went through last November was horrendous but we did it because we thought it was going to make someone talk. Now I think someone is being paid to keep quiet.

“The hardest part was having to go to Endeavour House (Suffolk County Council's headquarters) and go through watching Crimewatch (which broadcast a reconstruction of Karen's death in 1994) again. It was absolutely awful but we did it for Karen.

“We are still hoping that someone out there knows something and will say something.”

Last year's £50,000 appeal was financially backed by Suffolk police, Ipswich businessman Roy Sallows, Call Connection, Ipswich Borough Council, AXA, the Elizabeth hotels, the Ipswich Partnership, SnOasis and the Galley restaurants.

Detective Superintendent Roy Lambert, who is leading the investigation, said police has received about 30 calls following the launch of the reward, but most of these had contained information already known to the force.

Det supt Lambert said: “I thought it was such a lot of money it might tempt someone to come forward with an important piece of information and I was quite disappointed when that didn't happen.

“We had about 30 calls last year after the appeal and there were some people that had obviously come forward as a result of that but there are no new lines of inquiry.

“We had a few suggestions which we followed up but the information was mainly the same as had been given to us years ago.”

He said police would continue to look to science in the hope of a breakthrough but said there was little hope of DNA advances helping in the case as most of the evidence was destroyed when Karen's body was set alight.

Det supt Lambert added: “We have always got our minds towards looking at new technology and if new procedures come up that we can use we will use them. Rest assured we always monitor what is happening with new advances in policing and investigations.

“If information comes in it will come to me, I will evaluate it and, if necessary, I will get officers who have been on the case previously to do the investigation.”

He said police were still keen to trace a man wearing a parka who was seen in an alleyway between Lavenham Road and London Road about the time of the murder.

He added: “We still haven't identified who that person is and he is someone we would really like to eliminate from the investigation.

“We need people to come forward and give us evidence and make statements about what happened. We have to try to ascertain what is rumour and what is fact.”

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