Police renew appeal in murder inquiry

DETECTIVES hunting for the body of a woman believed to have been murdered have said people are withholding information that could solve the case.

James Hore

DETECTIVES hunting for the body of a woman believed to have been murdered have said people are withholding information that could solve the case.

They have issued a fresh appeal as the anniversary of the disappearance of Sandra Gant approaches.

It is six years ago this week that Mrs Gant, then aged 48, went missing from Clacton.

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The divorcee, who lived alone in a flat in Wellesley Road, was last seen by her family on Friday, November 14, 2003.

It is known she went to a soup kitchen in the town next day then met up with a couple of friends.

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The trio and a new “male acquaintance” then went for a drink at a nearby flat.

Police believe Mrs Gant left alone sometime later that evening to go home but it is not known whether she ever reached there and she has not been seen since.

The mother of four grown-up children was once a familiar face around Clacton as she frequented the town's centre shopping area where she would meet fellow drinkers.

She had regular contact with her family and was due to meet one of her daughters a few days after she disappeared, but never showed up.

A murder investigation was launched, but officers have yet to obtain enough evidence to charge anyone.

Detective Superintendent John Quinton, the senior investigating officer, said: “We never close an unsolved case.

“We know there are people living in Clacton who have crucial information on Sandra's last moments and where she is now.

“The Clacton community hold the key to unlocking the mystery surrounding her disappearance and presumed death.”

More than 100 vehicles and premises have been searched and more than 300 statements taken in the years following Mrs Gant's disappearance.

An 18-year-old was arrested on suspicion of murder about a month after her disappearance but no further action was taken.

Then in 2004, three people were arrested in connection with her disappearance but were also released without charge.

Det Supt Quinton added: “We hope today's appeal will strike a chord with someone and prompt them to contact us with information. Sandra's family continue to experience torment through the unknown.”

Last year officers hoped a poster appeal would help solve the mystery of what happened.

Anyone with any information in connection with the murder investigation is urged to contact detectives at the incident room in Stanway on 0300 333 4444 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.


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