Detectives under seige

DETECTIVES investigating the murders of five prostitutes in Ipswich have today said they have been inundated with calls from the public.The force has received more than 4,000 calls in the last 48 hours and now faces the painstaking task of filtering out vital information.

DETECTIVES investigating the murders of five prostitutes in Ipswich have today said they have been inundated with calls from the public.

The force has received more than 4,000 calls in the last 48 hours and now faces the painstaking task of filtering out vital information.

Detective Chief Superintendent Stewart Gull overseeing the inquiry said: “Clearly that number of calls presents us with a challenge. They are not all coming into Suffolk headquarters and they are being managed across the region. We have a regional computerised network to be able to deal with these calls.

“It's a question of assessing and filtering these and picking up those that look interesting. What we have here is almost like a live Crimewatch programme but Crimewatch lasts for an hour and we are in our fourth or fifth day.”


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Elsewhere the mother of 16-year-old Norfolk prostitute, Natalie Pearman who was murdered in 1992 has downplayed suggestions police are probing a link between her daughter's death and the recent murders.

Lin Pearman, said today she had not been contacted by police about the current probe.

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Detectives investigating the series of murders will be speaking to police in the US to examine possible links with the killings of four prostitutes in Atlantic City last month.

In Suffolk, Det Chf Supt Gull said police had continued to recover several items of clothing yesterday across the county.

Officers are said to have retrieved a leather jacket and numerous other items from the River Orwell yesterday.

A handbag containing a pair of knickers, a toothbrush and toothpaste has also been found near the Ferodo Bridge in Norwich Road, Ipswich.

Police will not confirm the locations of any of their finds but said any reports of clothing will be investigated and police will respond and secure the scene.

Witnesses have also said a bin liner full of items was recovered from Belstead Brook near Burstall Bridge.

Gemma Adams' body was found near the location in Hintlesham on December 2.

One man who witnessed the police emerge with the bag but wished to remain anonymous said: “They have been sifting through the river and one of the divers got out with what looked like a bin liner full of stuff. It might have been a brown evidence bag.”

The divers emerged with what could be important fragments of evidence at about 3.30pm yesterday.

Speculation today suggests that all five victims had their genital hair shaved but Det Chf Supt Gull said this was not the case.

He said: “It is not an issue. There is nothing to suggest that these girls have been shaved at all.”

The bodies are also said to have been naked apart from their jewellery.

The Evening Star asked senior officers earlier in the inquiry whether Miss Adams jewellery had been recovered and was told by police: “We are only appealing for information about her clothing.”

An Ipswich prostitute is also believed to have told police she saw Anneli Alderton, 24, the killer's third victim get into a blue BMW on the night she disappeared. She said a chubby man with glasses had picked the woman up and driven off.

Det Chf Supt Gull said he was not aware that this had been reported to the police but if it had it would be pursued.

The body of one of the fourth and fifth victims was taken to Ipswich Hospital last night and formal identification is expected to take place today. The other body found at Levington will remain in situ today.

This will enable the same scenes of crimes officers to examine the scene and prevent cross contamination from the two sites.

A friend of Annette Nicholls, one of the women believed to have been found in Levington, today described her as “a super model in the making”.

Mandy Page, 35, of Landseer Road, Ipswich described Annette as one of the loveliest people you could ever meet.

A QUIP about the Suffolk murder probe at the British Comedy Awards last night was met with silence.

Director Oliver Stone told the celebrity audience: “It's great to be back in England. I feel like Jack the Ripper days are back. Nothing ever changes here.”

MOTORISTS continue to face delays around Ipswich today while police search for clues around the sites where bodies were discovered.

Congestion is expected in the Levington and Nacton areas.

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