New leads in headless corpse case

New leads are being followed up by cold case detectives after they re-opened their investigation into a 30-year-old murder case.Last week Norfolk police's major investigations team appealed for members of the public to come forward to help identify the headless woman of Cockley Cley.

New leads are being followed up by cold case detectives after they re-opened their investigation into a 30-year-old murder case.

Last week Norfolk police's major investigations team appealed for members of the public to come forward to help identify the headless woman of Cockley Cley.

It came after they exhumed the woman's body from a graveyard in Swaffham. They have obtained DNA evidence from the corpse and hope to be finally able to identify the victim - and in turn trap the killer.

Det Insp Andy Guy, who is leading the inquiry, appealed for anybody concerned about a friend or relative who went missing around that time to come forward.


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In the week since the appeal was launched, several members of the public have been in touch. Mr Guy said: “We have had a reasonable responsible and there are some interesting lines of inquiry we are looking into.

“We have had calls from people in Norfolk and from further afield. At the moment one of our jobs is to sort through those and prioritise them.

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“But the appeal has already yielded some potentially useful information.”

The woman, believed to have been between 23 and 30-years-old at the time of the 1974 discovery, was found bound and decapitated by the side off the road. The head was never recovered and no suspects have been identified.

The victim, dressed only in a pink Marks and Spencer's nightdress, had been concealed under a dust sheet marked with NCR, a logo for National Cash Registers. A post-mortem examination was conducted the same day and suggested she was in her twenties or thirties and about 5ft 2in. She was almost certainly white.

Mr Guy said: “I would continue to urge anyone who thinks they may have knowledge of who the woman was or thinks they are able to contribute information that leads to the identity of the woman to get in touch with us. In theory it will be relatively straightforward for us to confirm or eliminate those individuals put forward.

“Is there a female relative, friend, neighbour or colleague who disappeared about this time and has not been seen since? This would apply even if you reported her missing to the police at the time.”

Two hotlines have been set up for anyone with information, they are 01953 424529 or 01953 424533.

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