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Police hunt for Suffolk strangler

PUBLISHED: 11:56 12 December 2006 | UPDATED: 17:29 25 February 2010

Anneli Alderton

Anneli Alderton

SUFFOLK police have launched a third murder hunt today after revealing a prostitute found dead in woods near Ipswich had been strangled.

During a press conference this morning, police officially named the woman discovered in Nacton on Sunday as Anneli Alderton, 24.

SUFFOLK police have launched a third murder hunt today after revealing a prostitute found dead in woods near Ipswich had been strangled.

During a press conference this morning, police officially named the woman discovered in Nacton on Sunday as Anneli Alderton, 24.

Detectives said further tests were being carried out to discover whether Miss Alderton, from Colchester, had been sexually assaulted.

Miss Alderton was the third prostitute found dead near Ipswich in a 10-day period.

Gemma Adams, 25, was found murdered in a stream at Hintlesham on Saturday December 2.

Tania Nicol, 19, was found dead in a pond at Copdock, Suffolk, the following Friday, December 8.

Police have not yet revealed how Miss Adams and Miss Nicol died. But they say neither was sexually assaulted.

Detectives appealed today for anyone with information about Miss Alderton - whose family live in Harwich, Essex - to come forward.

Detective Chief Superintendent Stewart Gull said a third murder inquiry had been launched following post mortem tests on Miss Alderton's body.

“It is important that we try to piece together Anneli's final movements,” said Mr Gull.

“We know that, like Gemma and Tania, she did work as a prostitute in Ipswich. However, unlike them, she had not been reported missing.”

He added: “I would ask people, particularly clients, to look at Anneli's photograph and, if you saw her recently, please give us a call.”

Police said inquiries revealed that Miss Alderton caught the 5.53pm train from Harwich to Colchester on December 3.

Mr Gull said there were no known sightings of her after that.

A passing motorist might have seen her body in woodland at Nacton at 10.30am on December 7 but mistakenly thought the figure was an abandoned mannequin.

Miss Alderton's body was spotted by a motorist at around 3.30pm on Sunday December 10.

“Inquiries have revealed that Anneli caught the 5.53pm train from Harwich to Colchester on Sunday December 3. There are no known sightings of her alive since then,' said Mr Gull.

“A passing motorist believes he saw the body in situ at about 10.30am on Thursday December 7. However, he thought it was an abandoned mannequin and did not report it to police.'

Mr Gull added: “It is essential we trace anyone who might have seen Anneli in the week between Sunday December 3 and Sunday December 10.

“Specifically, we want to hear from anyone who saw her between Sunday December 3 and Thursday December 7.”

Detectives investigating the murders said they had received 450 calls from members of the public.

Police said around 25 calls had been made to a dedicated line set up for prostitutes working in Suffolk who might have vital information.

Mr Gull said the information received was being analysed.

He added: “I have been very pleased with the response to our appeal so far. I would ask anyone with information to come forward as a matter of urgency.'

Meanwhile, fears are growing for the safety of two missing Ipswich prostitutes.

Detectives said Annette Nicholls, 29, was last seen shortly before 10pm on December 5, in Norwich Road, Ipswich.

Police said Paula Clennell, 24, was last seen at around 1am in Rendlesham Court, Ipswich, on Sunday.

Mr Gull said: “Both of these girls were reported missing as a result of the publicity generated by the inquiries into the murders of Gemma Adams and Tania Nicol.

“In the current climate, we are concerned for their welfare and are making urgent inquiries to locate them.

“I would ask either the girls themselves or anyone with information as to their whereabouts to contact police immediately.”

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