Burial for woman found headless in 1974

A WOMAN whose body was found at Cockley Cley in 1974 was reburied at Swaffham cemetery today.

A WOMAN whose body was found at Cockley Cley in 1974 was reburied at Swaffham cemetery today.

A low-key re-interment ceremony took place at an unmarked grave with prayers said for the woman before her remains were committed to the ground.

Her headless body was found on heath land off Swaffham Road on 27 August, 1974, by a member of the public and a murder investigation was launched. This ran from 1974 and 1975 but neither the woman nor her killer was identified.

Norfolk's Major Investigation Team decided to re-examine the case as a result of advances in forensic science and technology.


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Her body was exhumed to secure the forensic material in April.

The remains were taken to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and a second post-mortem carried out by a home office pathologist and a forensic anthropologist. During this process A DNA profile of the deceased woman was obtained.

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It's believed she was between 23 to 35 years old, and about 5ft 2inc. With this information police issued a fresh appeal to the public about three weeks ago for help in identifying the victim.

Senior investigating officer Andy Guy said: “We've been encouraged by the response we have received and are continuing to receive from the public.

“Detectives are currently following up a number of potentially useful lines of enquiry.

“We have had a good response so far with some useful information. I am conscious I am asking people to remember things from half a life time ago and I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the public for their help to date.

“People do not just vanish and maybe the person responsible for this crime made excuses for the woman's disappearance such as she has run away with another man or left the country.

“We feel sure the public hold the key to helping us find out who this woman was and, consequently, to establish who killed her.

“We have always recognised since we re-opened this case that there will be no quick solutions. It will take time and patience to try and establish her identity.”

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