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Colchester: Police maybe hunting a ‘serial killer’, admits senior detective

PUBLISHED: 14:45 21 June 2014 | UPDATED: 17:41 21 June 2014

Detective chief superintendent Steve Worron addressing the media

Detective chief superintendent Steve Worron addressing the media

Archant

Police are “not back to square one” in the search for the killer of a 31-year-old woman after a man was eliminated from their enquiry.

Police at the murder scene in ColchesterPolice at the murder scene in Colchester

More than 300 officers are working on the Nahid Almanea murder case after she was stabbed 16 times in Greenstead, Colchester, on Tuesday.

Today police gave a press conference where they admitted the culprit maybe a serial killer. They also failed to rule out that it is the same person responsible for the murder of James Attfield, a vulnerable man from the town.

Mr Attfield, 33, was stabbed 102 times in what police described as a “senseless and frenzied” attack in the town in March.

Detective chief superintendent, Steve Worron, said: “We are not back to square one, there is a significant amount of information, we have carried out 350 house-house enquiries. We have active lines of enquiry for both. Our priority is public safety and public reassurance. There is a possibility that it’s a serial killer.”

Both murder investigations are being carried out separately after a criminal profiler from the National Crime Agency carried out a thorough assessment of all of the evidence.

It is their recommendation to keep the cases “separate but as parallel investigations at this time”.

So far more than 100 calls from members of the public to police have been received.

Det Ch Supt Worron made an appeal for further information. He said: “In particular I want to find out more about a man who was seen running up Hewes Close at around 10.56am on the day Nahid was murdered.

“This road is at the far end of Avon Way and he was seen initially coming out of an alleyway which indirectly links to the Salary Brook Trail.

This man was white, aged between 18 and 25, of medium build and with dark hair. He was wearing a long sleeve plain hooded top that is described as London bus red and dark trousers.

“I also want to hear from anyone who recognises the description of a man who is wanted for questioning by police in connection with an attack on a woman in Peache Road, in Colchester, at around 10pm on Thursday.

“The location of this attack, and some aspects of it, including reports that a knife was seen and the victim was a woman, mean that this suspect is also of interest to the Almanea investigation.”

The man is described as being white, in his early 20s, and around 5ft 7in to 5ft 8in tall. He was of medium build and had a narrow face, appeared unwell and possibly had fair hair.

He was wearing a black hooded top and possibly had a dark top on underneath with a red logo on it.

There are a number of outstanding media appeals in relation to the murder of Mr Attfield.

Police still have seven CCTV images on the Essex Police website of people who officers need to speak to in connection with the murder.

The number to ring with information is 01245 282103.

Earlier a 19-year-old man who was arrested in connection with the murder of Ms Almanea and an assault allegation in Peache Road, Colchester was released from custody. No further action is to be taken against him in respect of either the murder or the assault. He has now been eliminated from both enquiries.

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