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Colchester: Police investigating murder of Essex University student Nahid Almanea re-open Salary Brook Trail

17:21 08 July 2014

Officers have searched 450m of the Salary Brook Trail in Colchester and dredged 468 drains in their hunt for evidence.

Officers have searched 450m of the Salary Brook Trail in Colchester and dredged 468 drains in their hunt for evidence.

Detectives investigating the murder of Nahid Almanea in Colchester have re-opened the path where she was found stabbed to death.

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Ms Almanea, 31, was stabbed 16 times on the Salary Brook Trail, which runs between Greenstead estate and Essex University, where she studied, on the morning of June 17.

Officers have searched 450m of the Salary Brook Trail in Colchester and dredged 468 drains in their hunt for evidence.

Today, Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Worron, of Essex Police, said the trail has re-opened three weeks after the murder.

He said the scene had to be preserved to collect “vital evidence”, adding 24-hour search teams have investigated 48 private gardens and three fishing lakes, with more than 2,100 exhibits being checked by forensic teams.

He said: “I’m grateful to the people of Colchester for their patience and understanding whilst these searches took place. Securing evidence is a vital part of the investigative process.

“We are continuing to appeal for information from the public to find witnesses who may be able to help us piece together a picture of what happened on the Salary Brook Trail on the morning that Nahid died on Tuesday, June 17.

“In particular we would like to speak to a man who was seen on the Salary Brook Trail between 10.20am and 10.40am, shortly before Nahid was found. He is thought to have been wearing a very distinctive jacket.

“It is described as being an Italian designer item, it was slightly longer than waist-length, had brown buttons up the front and two pockets also with buttons.

“It was beige in colour, and had a belt which may or may not have had a buckle. A picture of a similar coat is pictured on the Essex Police website.

“He was walking on the footpath near the underpass on the A133 side of the Salary Brook Trail. He has still not yet come forward and we urgently need to speak with him.”

He added: “We also issued an efit to the public in relation to a man seen in Hewes Close, Colchester, shortly after Nahid was attacked.

“Officers are now working on a number of leads to trace the man so we can speak to him. However, we would still want to hear from anyone who thinks they recognise this man.”

He said there are a number of other appeals for people officers would like to speak to who might be able to paint a clearer picture of events on the Salary Brook Trail on the morning of June 17.

Their descriptions are on the Essex Police website and the force’s social media sites. Call Essex Police on 01245 282103 or Crimestoppers, anonymously if required, on 0800 555111.

Meanwhile, DCS Worron said officers investigating the James Attfield murder are still working to trace a couple seen sitting on a bench near the site of the fatal stabbing.

The vulnerable father-of-five, 33, was brutally stabbed 102 times close to Lower Castle Park in Colchester town centre in the early hours of March 29.

The couple were seen at 11.30pm the night before. They were sitting at opposite ends of the bench, near a man who was sitting on the grass.

An Essex Police spokesman said it is “unknown whether they knew each other, but they may have been a couple who had an argument earlier in the evening and so were sitting apart, not talking to each other”.

The man is white and is of a stocky build. The woman is described as white.

The couple on the bench, or anyone who might know who they are, are asked to contact the incident room on 01245 282103 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Crimestoppers has offered a reward of £10,000 payable for information which leads to the conviction of the person or people responsible for both Mr Attfield’s murder and Ms Almanea’s murder.

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