Detective's plea to help complete profile of tragic murdered Ipswich mum
PUBLISHED: 05:30 21 November 2019 | UPDATED: 13:10 21 November 2019
Detectives have not given up hope of finding the killer of Ipswich mother Karen Hales, despite the 'horrendous crime' remaining unsolved for 26 years.
Police said they continue to pursue a number of lines of enquiry from 18 communications received in the year since the 25th anniversary of Karen's murder.
The unsolved case team wants to complete a picture of Karen's movements, including places she frequented and people she met, before her death at the age of 21.
Karen's body was set alight after she was stabbed to death in front of her baby daughter, Emily, at their Lavenham Road home on November 21, 1993.
Shortly before 4.40pm, about an hour after Karen's partner left for work, Karen's parents called at the house and found their daughter's body in the kitchen.
Detective Superintendent Andy Smith said there remained a possibility that other people had information to assist the inquiry.
"My appeal to them is to make contact and help us solve this horrendous crime," he added.
"I would like to hear from people who knew her in whatever form, whether they were friends, colleagues or other acquaintances.
"Although I retain a completely open mind as to who is responsible, I think there is a strong possibility that Karen's attacker was known to her, and that is why it is so important for us to know everything about her."
Despite widespread media attention and a £50,000 reward, shop assistant Karen's killer has never been caught - although two people were arrested and released without charge.
DS Smith called Karen's murder "truly devastating" for her entire family, adding: "If there is someone out there who can help us, but is reluctant to do so, I would like them to think about a couple of things in particular that might help change their mind.
"Please think about that baby girl, left alone in the house where her mum had been stabbed to death and set alight, and who was lucky to survive the fire.
"Please think about the parents who discovered their daughter's body and rescued their granddaughter from the fire.
"If you think you can help, then please call us."
Contact the unsolved case team on 01953 423819, or email email@example.com. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, or at crimestoppers-uk.org.