Fears for missing Paula

DETECTIVES investigating the murders of three Ipswich prostitutes today spoke of their fears for a fourth vice girl.Police said 24-year-old mother-of-three Paula Clennell has not been seen since late on Saturday in London Road.

DETECTIVES investigating the murders of three Ipswich prostitutes today spoke of their fears for a fourth vice girl.

On the day a £25,000 reward was offered for the capture of the killer, police revealed that 24-year-old mother-of-three Paula Clennell has not been seen since 10.40pm on Saturday in London Road and said they urgently wanted to locate her.

Her disappearance raised fears that the serial killer terrorising Suffolk could have claimed another young victim.

The county's biggest ever murder probe intensified today with the news that the third body found in eight days was that of a 24-year-old prostitute who worked in Ipswich's red-light district.

The woman's naked body was found in an area of woodland near Amberfield School at Nacton at 3.20pm yesterday.

That discovery came after the bodies of prostitutes Gemma Adams, 25, and Tania Nicol, 19, were found in Belstead Brook at Hintlesham and Copdock Mill.

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Assistant chief constable Jacqui Cheer warned sex workers they were putting themselves in danger if they continued to work the streets.

She said: “My message to working girls at the moment is to stay off the streets.”

And in an appeal for women who live in the area to take extra measures to ensure their safety, Asst Chf Con Cheer said: “You have really got to look after each other. Plan how you're going to get there and plan how you are going to get home and don't deviate from that.

“Do not leave your friends on their own.”

She gave out her mobile number - 07764 210572 - for girls to call if they have any information.

The body at Nacton is still at the scene this morning while forensic officers completed their investigations and will be moved to Ipswich Hospital later today for a post mortem test by a Home Office pathologist.

At a press conference today, detectives confirmed the victim was naked and clearly visible from the road. A passing motorist alerted police to the woman's corpse.

Detective chief inspector Stewart Gull said: “This is a deeply disturbing development in the light of the two murder investigations. Although we can't formally link the discovery of the body at Nacton with the two murders the facts speak for themselves.”

Officers said they did not know at this stage how long the body had been by the roadside and appealed for anyone who used this busy stretch of road in the last month to contact them.

As they raced to catch the killer before he strikes again, detectives said they were pursuing “a number of interesting lines of inquiry”.

Police said they could not say if the murder of the third woman was linked to the killings of prostitutes Gemma Adams and Tania Nicol, or whether a copycat killer could be behind the latest death.

Chief Constable Alistair McWhirter today said there were “significant differences” between the latest killing and the murders of Miss Nicol and Miss Adams.

However, he said it would be foolish not to look at the possibility it was linked.

Anyone who knows where Paula Clennell is should call Suffolk police on 01473 613500.

Do you know Paula Clennell? Call the Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk.