Village in shock at murder inquiry

DETECTIVES are hunting the killer of former Kesgrave High School pupil Gemma Adams today after her naked body was found dumped in a stream near Ipswich.

DETECTIVES are hunting the killer of former Kesgrave High School pupil Gemma Adams today after her naked body was found dumped in a stream near Ipswich.

The 25-year-old Ipswich prostitute, had vanished two weeks ago just over a fortnight after another working girl Tania Nicol, 19, had vanished on October 30.

As reported in Saturday's special edition of The Evening Star, police were called to land behind Hintlesham Fisheries on the A1071 at about 11.50am on Saturday after the discovery of a blonde haired woman, found face down in a dyke shrouded by leaves.

Miss Adams, of Blenheim Road, Ipswich was last seen alive at 1.15am on Wednesday, November 15 outside the BMW garage in West End Road, Ipswich.

Speaking at the time of her disappearance her partner of ten years, 26-year-old Jon Simpson, urged people not to judge her and said he was lost without his childhood sweetheart.

Miss Adams is thought to have worked for a motor insurance company in Ipswich until two years ago when she became addicted to drugs.

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She began working as a prostitute in the Handford Road area of the town and until a week before her disappearance, was working in a massage parlour.

Today the family of Cara Martin-Brown, the last working girl to be murdered in Ipswich, sent a message of condolence to Gemma's family.

Miss Martin-Brown was murdered in Alderman Road in December 2003 by Darren Brown, no relation, who is currently serving life in prison for her killing.

Speaking on behalf of her family, which included one brother and three sisters, Leonora Gardiner, Miss Martin-Brown's mum, said: “All life is precious and to have a loved one cruelly snatched by another's hand is beyond most people's comprehension.

“Unfortunately, we as a family endure this pain, and it is with this knowledge that we would like to express our sincere sorrow and sympathy to the family who has lost their beloved family member.”

With fears rising over Miss Nicol's welfare today, after she has not been since about 11pm on Monday, October 30 when spotted on CCTV outside the Sainsbury's garage on London Road friends spoke of their concerns.

A former school friend, who has known Miss Nicol, of Woolverstone Close, since their days together at Gusford Primary School and Chantry High School, recalled happier times.

The 18-year-old, who did not wish to be named, said: “I remember Tania from when we were five years old. She was a happy girl. She wasn't any different to any other girl really.

“I remember he laugh which was very infectious. She lived nearby and she used to come round to play a few times.”

Fighting back the tears as she remembered Tania in her younger days, the friend said: “We lost touch when we went to Chantry High School. I think she got in with a different crowd and she didn't come to school much.

“She had a boyfriend and she was off with him really. It's sad she became a prostitute. She was a close friend. It's awful.”

Offering her support as the teenager struggled to control her emotions, her 39-year-old mum, who also did not wish to be named, said: “I think Tania had a tough upbringing and she had to be quite self contained. She was often on her own. But she was a lovely little girl really. She was friendly and happy.

“It was a total shock when we found out she had become a prostitute. It's hard to think about it when you've known them for so long.

“It's awful to think what happened to the little girl I knew.”

Police have said they are treating the death of Miss Adams as suspicious but have yet to reveal how she died.

Officers had been working on the theory that her body may have been dumped elsewhere and washed downstream to Burstall Brook in heavy rain.

Her body was found in a remote area of Thorpe's Hill, Hintlesham, on the A1071.

Anyone with information about Miss Adams' death, or the whereabouts of Miss Nicol is asked to call the Incident Room on 01473 613538 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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