Victoria Hall murder: Police now have 25 people working on case
- Credit: Suffolk police
Police say they are making "significant progress" in a probe into the suspected murder of Suffolk teenager Victoria Hall – with 25 officers and staff working on the case.
Miss Hall was 17 when she was last seen alive in the early hours of Sunday, September 19, 1999, in High Road, Trimley St Mary.
She had left home the previous evening to go for a night out with a friend at the Bandbox nightclub in Bent Hill, Felixstowe, where they remained until about 1am in the morning.
They then went to get some food at the Bodrum Grill in Undercliff Road West, before beginning the walk back to Trimley St Mary.
They parted at about 2.20am near to the junction of High Road and Faulkeners Way – just yards from Miss Hall's home.
When her parents discovered she had not returned home that morning, they called police and a missing person inquiry was launched.
Miss Hall's naked body was found in a ditch beside a field by a dog walker in Creeting St Peter, about 25 miles away, five days after her disappearance.
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In 2001, a Felixstowe businessman stood trial charged with Miss Hall's murder but was unanimously cleared by a jury within 90 minutes.
The case, known as Operation Avon, was reopened by Suffolk police in September 2019 after fresh information had been received that was not previously known.
It was reported on July 29 last year that Suffolk Strangler Steve Wright, who murdered Ipswich women in the final few months of 2006, had been arrested on suspicion of murdering Miss Hall 22 years prior.
Suffolk police refused to confirm or deny that Wright was the man arrested.
A Suffolk police spokesman has now confirmed "dedicated team of detectives and police staff" are continuing to make "significant progress" into Miss Hall's suspected murder.
The team includes 25 dedicated officers and staff working full-time on Operation Avon.
As part of the re-investigation, the Operation Avon team has taken statements from more than 500 witnesses, reviewed 43,000 documents and 9,000 exhibits and viewed more than 3,500 hours of CCTV footage.
Miss Hall's family continue to be updated on the progress of the case.
Detective Chief Superintendent Andy Smith, the senior investigating officer, said: "The investigation into the tragic murder of 17-year-old Victoria Hall in 1999 remains a high priority for Suffolk Constabulary. The inquiry team are totally committed to bringing the person or persons responsible for her dreadful murder to justice.
"This is a challenging and complex case which has amassed extremely high volumes of information and evidence over the preceding 23 years. There are now 25 staff working on this investigation full-time and as a consequence we are making good progress.
"This is demonstrated by the hundreds of witnesses that have been spoken to; the tens of thousands of documents and exhibits that have been reviewed; and the thousands of hours of CCTV footage that has been viewed.
"We are in frequent contact with Victoria’s family to keep them updated as to our progress and as ever are truly grateful for their patience and for the support they provide our investigation. They are an amazing family.
"It will be 23 years in September since Victoria was murdered and we will continue to pursue all new lines of enquiry. I once again urge anyone with information that could assist us to come forward, it is never too late."
Anyone with information related to the incident is urged to contact the Suffolk police control room on 01473 782059, quoting Operation Avon.