Fri, Dec 22, 2006 - Page 6 News List

British police to re-open unresolved murder cases


British police will reportedly re-open unsolved murder cases in the Ipswich area as they continued questioning two suspects in the killings of five prostitutes yesterday.

Police were given another day to question a 37-year-old suspect, a spokesman said yesterday. Detectives now have until this morning to question the man, named by the media as supermarket worker Tom Stephens, before they must charge, bail or release him.

He was arrested on Monday at his home in Trimley St. Martin, near Felixstowe, by police investigating the discovery of five naked bodies dumped in rural locations around Ipswich.

A second man arrested on suspicion of murdering the women also faces further questioning after detectives were given more time to hold him.

The 48-year-old, named by media as forklift truck driver Steve Wright, was arrested on Tuesday.

Magistrates gave officers a further 36 hours to quiz Wright, which means they can hold him until today.

According to the Sun newspaper, which cited unnamed police sources, Wright was not co-operating fully with the inquiry.

"At the moment Wright isn't playing ball with us. He is exercising his legal right not to answer questions," the source told the tabloid daily.

On Wednesday, a coroner adjourned inquests into the deaths of four of the prostitutes.

He appealed to anyone with information about their deaths to contact police before adjourning the hearings. No date has been set for the inquests to resume.

Meanwhile, according to the Daily Telegraph, which cited unidentified police sources, the disappearance and murder of three prostitutes in the nearby city of Norwich, in the neighboring county of Norfolk, will be revisited upon the conclusion of the ongoing inquiry in and around the eastern port town of Ipswich.

"Right from the start, people have been comparing the events in Ipswich with those in Norwich several years ago," an unnamed Suffolk county police source was quoted as saying in the newspaper.

The Guardian and other British newspapers said that police will be looking into the deaths of Natalie Pearman, 16, who was found strangled in 1992, Michelle Bettles, 22, who was found dead in 2002 and Kellie Pratt, 29, who disappeared in 2000 but whose body has not yet been found.

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