Double murder inquiry launched

A DOUBLE murder investigation is under way after a naked body - believed to be that of missing prostitute Tania Nicol - was found in a brook just outside Ipswich.

A DOUBLE murder investigation is under way after a naked body - believed to be that of missing prostitute Tania Nicol - was found in a brook just outside Ipswich.

The body was found in the water at Copdock Mill yesterday - in the same stream and about two miles from where the naked body of vice girl Gemma Adams was discovered last Saturday.

Last night, fears were voiced by the English Collective of Prostitutes that a serial killer may be responsible for the horrific deaths.

The young woman's body, found by police divers yesterday morning, has not been confirmed as that of 19-year-old Miss Nicol, from Ipswich.


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However, due to the location and circumstances, it is feared it is the missing teenager, who was last seen on October 30.

Detective Chief Inspector John Quinton said at the scene: “From the position of Suffolk Constabulary, it is very unusual that we are currently dealing with a murder investigation into the death of Gemma Adams and, in close proximity and in a similar area, we find ourselves investigating the suspicious death of an unidentified female.”

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Det Ch Insp David Skevington added: “Until we know the outcome of the post mortem it is difficult to draw conclusions about whether the incidents are connected.

“But we are clearly taking into account investigations into missing Tania Nicol and the murder of Gemma Adams.

“We need to consider if there are any linkages between this finding today and those investigations.

“These circumstances are extremely unusual for Suffolk. To have a murder investigation and a suspicious death is almost unique. The constabulary is treating this with the utmost seriousness.”

Last night the devastated father of 25-year-old Miss Adams said if it did prove to be Miss Nicol's body, their “heart-felt thoughts” would be with her family.

He added: “We hope they will receive the same degree of support that we have been fortunate enough to have received. I have got utmost confidence in the police to bring whoever has done this to justice.”

The woman's body was found at around 11.30am yesterday near to the animal feeds business HG Gladwell and Sons.

Det Ch Insp Quinton said it was discovered by police divers searching for evidence following the discovery of Miss Adams' body.

He said there was currently around two feet of water in the brook at the point near the public weighbridge, but the stream has rapidly changing levels, with local residents reporting that it flooded only two weeks ago.

It is not yet known whether the body was dumped at the isolated spot - close to an area known to be used by prostitutes - or whether it was carried there by the fast-flowing waterway.

Copdock Mill is only around two miles downstream from where Miss Adams' body was found near Thorpe's Hill, Hintlesham.

Cordons blocked access to the old A12 while scenes of crime officers started to gather evidence and the body was recovered.

As the police helicopter circled over the spot, Det Ch Insp Quinton said a “search strategy” would now start in the vicinity of the brook in a bid to find any clothing or personal items.

Door to door enquiries will also begin in the area, with hopes that in such an isolated spot anything suspicious may have been noticed.

The woman's next of kin are now being informed and a post mortem by a Home Office pathologist was expected to be carried out over this weekend.

It is still not known how Miss Adams died, although a post-mortem examination found no evidence of a sexual assault.

Her body was found by a fish warden last Saturday after she was reported missing on November 15 by her partner, Jon Simpson, when she did not return home to Blenheim Road.

She had gone into town the night before with the intention of working as a prostitute.

After her body was found, police said they had “grave concerns” for Miss Nicol, from Woolverstone Close.

Her mother, Kerry, believed her daughter had also gone missing after heading into the town centre to work.

The case involving Miss Nicol was still being treated as a missing person inquiry last night and Det Ch Insp Quinton reiterated appeals for information from anyone who had seen her or her clothing, particularly the distinctive sparkly pink shoes she was wearing on the night she vanished.

Police have advised prostitutes to think about their safety since the pair were reported missing.

Joanna Spicer, Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for public protection, added yesterday: “Obviously this is a very serious situation, and our thoughts are with the families involved.

“We are working together with the police, and would urge anyone with any information to contact them as soon as possible.

“We would also like to emphasise our usual safety messages to everyone. If you are going out alone, make sure you let someone know where you're going and what time you'll be back.

“Keep in contact with friends and family. If you must travel alone, stick to well lit main streets avoiding alleyways and dark side streets.”

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