DETECTIVES investigating the murder of teenager Jay Whiston are hoping the launch of two Facebook adverts will help catch his killer.

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The 17-year-old was stabbed at a house party in Marlowe Way, Colchester, on September 8 last year.

Jay, who lived in Aster Close, Clacton, died a short time later in hospital and a provisional post-mortem showed he died from a stab wound to the heart.

Officers are still missing pieces of evidence despite taking from more than 140 people but remain certain that someone knows what happened at the party and is protecting Jay’s killer.

The targeted social media adverts went live last week and will appear on the Facebook pages of young people aged between 16 and 22 and parents aged between 35 and 55 who live in Colchester and Clacton.

Detective chief inspector Simon Parkes, who is leading the investigation, said: “I have no doubt that someone out there knows what happened at the party that Saturday night but are shielding Jay’s killer.

“We know there are still some people who are yet to come forward and hope the Facebook adverts will help us to reach out to them.

“The smallest piece of information could help and someone out there could hold the key to convicting Jay’s murderer.

“We’re also using Facebook to reach out to parents in the Colchester and Clacton areas. Were your children at the party that night? Did they see or hear something that could help with our investigation?”

Jay, who was studying law and business studies at Tendring Technology College, was stabbed in the heart and abdomen. The murder weapon has still not been found.

DCI Parkes added: “We know from the scientists that we are looking for a knife as opposed to any other item or implement. It is still out there. “Is it being held by the killer or has it been discarded by a friend? If you know where it is, then please contact us.

“We are committed to finding the answers in this murder investigation but really do need help from the public.

“Don’t place yourself at risk by protecting Jay’s killer. Do the right thin - call us in confidence.”

Detectives are particularly interested in finding a distinctive red and white River Island polo T-shirt and are keen to hear from anyone who knows where it is.

Nine people have been arrested in connection with Jay’s murder. Four young men from Colchester, who were arrested on suspicion of murder, are on police bail until March 22. Another four people were arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender and have been bailed to the same date.

A 17-year-old boy has been released from bail and faces no further action.

Anyone with information should call Colchester’s major investigation team on 01206 576845, text 07841112146 or e-mail scdappeals@essex.pnn.police.uk or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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