Was killer sick on Karen's body?

KAREN Hales's killer may have been sick at the scene, leaving vital evidence.Nine years ago today the Ipswich mum was stabbed to death in front of her 18-month-old daughter.

By Georgina James

KAREN Hales's killer may have been sick at the scene, leaving vital evidence.

Nine years ago today the Ipswich mum was stabbed to death in front of her 18-month-old daughter.

Now it emerges that vomit was found on her body, which her murderer tried to torch.

Today, The Evening Star gave the murder inquiry a boost by adding £4,000 to the reward, which now stands at £10,000. The reward will be paid out to the person who provides information leading to the conviction of the killer.

Steve Henry, a spokesman for Suffolk police, today said: "Forensic examination did uncover a small amount of vomit on Karen's body.

Most Read

"We do retain all evidence and deposits from scenes. These are regularly reviewed to take into account the move forward in forensic science.

"In this case the evidence has been reviewed in the last three years. We always keep an open mind and review on a regular basis."

He added that it could not be determined that the vomit came from Karen or a third party.

It is now 3,285 days since 21-year-old Miss Hales was found with multiple stab wounds to her chest in 1993.

Whoever killed Miss Hales almost certainly left the house spattered in blood and the knife which killed her has never been found.

But the family say they will never give up hope that one day her killer is caught and brought to justice, but deep down accept it now seems unlikely.

It is those two little words, who and why, which continue to torment the family and which stops them from laying the past to rest.

"I still have so many questions unanswered – the main one being why. Until I know that I will never settle or relax.

"After nine years you begin to think her killer will never be caught but with the advances in DNA you hold on to that thread of hope," said Karen's mother Geraldine.

Miss Hales daughter Emily is the one living memory that keeps the family going.

"We still have part of Karen in Emily. She is a lovely little girl with dark eyes just like her mum - Karen would be so proud of her," said 57-year-old Mrs Hales.

The strain on the Hales family became so great following the murder that her parents' marriage crumbled.

"This person destroyed our family. The strain was so intense that our 37-year marriage came to an end – something Karen wouldn't be happy about," added Mrs Hales.

"I can still see Karen and hear her voice. I remember the times when we were together and I can hear her calling out 'hiya mum.' They are very special memories.

"We will never forget Karen, but you have to push forward and carry on with life as best you can.

"It is as difficult and agonising as ever and to this day I still have trouble sleeping, she said."

Jacqui Double, one of Karen's sisters, said: "Whoever killed Karen also killed part of our family."

Unlike her mother, Mrs Double, aged 36, finds that time is fading the memory of her sister's voice.

"Sometimes I feel like I don't remember Karen but obviously I do.

"But little things scare me like not remembering the sound of her voice which is very upsetting.

"The pain is always with you, but you have to get on with your life although you never forget, it's always in the back of your mind.

"I find myself thinking about who killed Karen at the strangest of times. I might be in the Indian takeaway and suddenly I think of her killer who still has their freedom, watching television and enjoying life, while Karen's was wickedly snatched away from us.

"All I want is them caught and brought to justice."

Suffolk police stress the murder investigation remains opens and they remain determined to solve this case. Anyone with information on this murder should contact Suffolk police on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter