Fears grow for fourth missing vice girl

DETECTIVES investigating the murders of three prostitutes have said they are increasingly concerned for the safety of a fourth missing vice girl.As the investigation took another twist, police admitted they could be dealing with a serial killer who lives locally.

DETECTIVES investigating the murders of three prostitutes have said they are increasingly concerned for the safety of a fourth missing vice girl.

As the investigation took another twist, police admitted they could be dealing with a serial killer who lives locally.

Suffolk police's Assistant Chief Constable Jacqui Cheer also issued an urgent plea to prostitutes to stay off the streets in Ipswich, saying if they were alone at night they were “putting themselves in danger”.

Police are growing increasingly concerned for the safety of 24-year-old Paula Clennell who works as a prostitute in Ipswich and has not been seen since Saturday at 10.40pm in the town's London Road.


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It is not known whether she was working as a prostitute on the night she disappeared and police would not confirm or deny yesterday rumours she was from the Harwich area.

At a press conference on Monday, detectives also confirmed the naked body of a young woman discovered in woodland yesterday in the village of Nacton, near Ipswich, was that of a 24-year-old prostitute.

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She had not been reported missing to police and her identity will not be made public until formal identification has taken place.

The woman's body remains at the scene under a tent while forensic experts and scenes of crime officers carry out tests. It will then be transferred to Ipswich Hospital where a post-mortem examination will be carried out. It is not yet known how she died.

Detective Chief Superintendent Stewart Gull, Suffolk Constabulary's head of crime management, admitted the find of the third body had been a “deeply disturbing development”.

Although at this stage police are not formerly linking the latest death with the murders of Gemma Adams and Tania Nicol, whose naked bodies were found a few miles apart in a stream, Det Ch Supt Gull said the “striking similarities” of the cases spoke for themselves.

“Yes, it's in the forefront of our mind we are looking for one perpetrator if not more. We could be looking for a serial killer,” he said.

“He might be local, he may be from away. We can draw a number of conclusions from where the bodies have been deposited.”

Regarding the disappearance of Miss Clennell, Det Ch Supt Gull said: “We are looking for some reassurance she is safe and well.

“We know she was a prostitute but at this stage we have not established where she was taken from or where she was working.”

Assistant Chief Constable Jacqui Cheer said extra police patrols had been stepped up in the town's red light district since Miss Nicol went missing and appealed for people to be vigilant.

“My message to working girls at the moment is stay off the streets.”

She added: “I think we are coming up to the party season and there will be groups of young women going out. You have really got to look after each other.

“Plan how you are going to get there. Whatever happens on your night out, do not leave your friends on your own.”

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