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Letters may help in murder hunt

PUBLISHED: 16:30 14 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:33 03 March 2010

LETTERS bearing a personal plea for information from a senior officer leading the hunt for the killer of Suffolk pensioner, Joan Albert, do not mark a last ditch attempt to boost their investigation.

LETTERS bearing a personal plea for information from a senior officer leading the hunt for the killer of Suffolk pensioner, Joan Albert, do not mark a last ditch attempt to boost their investigation.

That was the claim today from Detective Superintendent Roy Lambert who told The Evening Star that "it was not unusual" for a murder hunt to take three months or more and he remained confident that officers were on the trail of the murderer.

He was speaking as 700 letters arrived on the doorsteps of residents of Capel St Mary who have not yet been visited by the police asking them to get in touch with officers.

Det Supt Lambert also revealed that delivery drivers spotted at Mrs Albert's home close to the time she was murdered had been identified and police were satisfied they had a legitimate reason for being in the village.

Widow Mrs Albert, 79, was found dead in the hall of her home in Boydlands, Capel St Mary, on December 16. She had died of multiple stab wounds.

Answering concerns that the murder hunt had stagnated in the months since her death Det Supt Lambert said: "I've got a lot of information in the system. We are still working our way through that. We still have a lot of other lines of inquiry we are pursuing. Three months for this type of murder investigation is not particularly unusual.

"I'm still confident we will find who is responsible at the end of the day."

While he had a "finite" number of officers to deploy, he said that manpower was not a particular problem and contacting Capel residents by letter was an efficient means of progressing the investigation, which currently has a team of more than 20 officers.

"This is another means of talking to the community and members of the public to ensure that any information out there is brought to the attention of the incident room.

"I have got enough officers on the case to progress the inquiry but we have still got to police the rest of the county, we have to be realistic.

"If I felt that the investigation needs more officers then I will bring more in. It will change with the ebb and flow of the inquiry."

House to house inquiries had focused on the centre of the village and footpaths and roads possibly used by the killer, he revealed.

There was no point wasting valuable police time sending officers to parts of the village "miles away", he added.


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