New hope as calls start to come in

POLICE are today probing information provided by eight people following the launch of a £50,000 appeal to find Karen Hales' killer. The calls were made overnight and into today following the unveiling an Evening Star-led bid to catch the person who murdered the 21-year-old Ipswich mum.

POLICE were today probing information provided by eight people following the launch of a £50,000 appeal to find Karen Hales' killer.

The calls were made overnight and into today following the unveiling an Evening Star-led bid to catch the person who murdered the 21-year-old Ipswich mum.

Speaking today, Geraldine Hales, Karen's mother, said she has been heartened by the developments.

She said: “I'm really pleased and I hope something comes of it. I'm surprised the police got eight calls so quickly.”

Graham Hales, Karen's father, added: “We would urge anyone with information about Karen's death to contact the police.

“We really hope this reward might encourage someone to come forward.”

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The money has been put up by a group of businesses that includes Ipswich Borough Council, Ipswich Partnership, Maxwell Wallace Homes, Call Connection, SnOasis, Elizabeth Hotels, AXA and the Galley restaurants.

Detective superintendent Roy Lambert, of Suffolk police, who have also backed the appeal, said: “This case was thoroughly investigated 12 years ago and as such we're not expecting a great number of calls from the public.

“However, we just need one call from someone who has got that vital piece of information that will help us establish who was responsible for the death of Karen Hales.

“We will now be investigating information provided in these calls received yesterday and today.”

Karen, 21, was stabbed and her body set on fire during a vicious attack at her home in Lavenham Road, Ipswich, on Sunday, November 21, 1993.

Former shop assistant Karen was last seen alive at 3.50pm on that day when her partner Peter Ruffles left their home for work at the Constantine Road bus depot. The brutal murder sparked one of the biggest murder hunts in Suffolk's criminal history.

Calls can be made to Suffolk police on 01473 613500, and callers should ask to speak to the Karen Hales investigation team. All calls will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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