Video/Gallery: Police acting on new information in Colchester murders case search Wivenhoe trail

Essex Police's Specialist Search Team worked on searching sections of water off the Wivenhoe Trail o

Essex Police's Specialist Search Team worked on searching sections of water off the Wivenhoe Trail on Saturday for possible weapons connected to the murders of James Attfield and Nahid Almanea. - Credit: Su Anderson

Police searches are taking place in Colchester today, acting on new information connected to the murders of James Attfield and Nahid Almanea.

The searches were taking place on the Wivenhoe Trail by Essex Police’s specialist search and water search teams, as a 16-year-old boy accused of killing the pair last year appeared in Chelmsford Magistrates Court.

The main purpose of the search was to attempt to recover weapons linked to both murders.

The teenager was arrested on Tuesday on the Salary Brook Trail, the same riverside footpath where he allegedly stabbed 31-year-old Saudi student Ms Almanea 16 times as she walked towards the University of Essex on the morning of June 17 last year.

The searches were taking place a mile from where Ms Almanea was murdered, and around two miles from where Mr Attfield was found fighting for his life in the town’s Castle Park on March 29 2014.


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The 33-year-old was stabbed more than 100 times and later died in hospital.

The operation was taking place as police continued to look for information surrounding the two murders.

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The trail remained open as cyclists and runners were only a few metres from the search area, which is around 100 metres by 40 metres.

The team of seven was searching yesterday while the tide was out, starting in the late morning and finishing at last light.

Depending on what is found, Essex Police expect to be searching tomorrow and Monday.

The 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested after allegedly being found with a lock knife and is also charged with possessing an offensive weapon.

The teenager, from Colchester, looked relaxed as he was brought in to the dock by two uniformed dock officers, and spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth and answered “yes” when the court clerk asked him if he understood the proceedings.

Chairman of the bench Paul Hole remanded the youth in custody.

He will next appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday.

Anyone with information linked to the two murders is asked to call Essex Police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

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