Police search army barracks 24 years after the young estate
agent went missing
Detectives investigating the disappearance 24 years ago of estate agent
Suzy Lamplugh are to begin a new hunt for her body in Worcestershire after a tip-off.
They will search the disused Norton army barracks near Pershore after a
potential witness claimed he saw a mound of earth there around the time
Lamplugh went missing in 1986 after leaving her offices in
Fulham, west London, to meet a client listed as 'Mr Kipper' in her
diary. Her car was later discovered in west London with the doors
unlocked, the handbrake off and the ignition keys missing. Her purse,
still containing £15, was in the pocket of the driver's door.
The 25-year-old's disappearance became one of the great mysteries
of the 1980s and dominated the media at the time. Her face (above) was
known by everyone who watched TV or read the papers – rather like
McCann's was following her disappearance in 2007.
Thousands of lines of inquiry have been pursued since Suzy
Lamplugh went missing, and DNA tests were carried out on 800
unidentified bodies in the aftermath of her disappearance. But there was
no breakthrough and the case was first closed in October 1987. She was
officially declared dead in 1994 but the file has remained open and in
2000 the investigation was officially reopened.
Late that year officers conducted a fingertip search of the same
area in Norton that they have now returned to. This time they will use
ground-penetrating radar in their hunt for Lamplugh's body.
Police have admitted that they missed "significant opportunities"
in the original inquiry, which could have resulted in a prosecution
years ago. After the latest announcement Scotland Yard said: "The
[Metropolitan police] remains committed to solving the Suzy Lamplugh
case and we will continue to work towards this end. We will follow up
any information in relation to this case."
John Cannan, a convicted murderer and rapist from Sutton
Coldfield, West Midlands, was named as the prime suspect in the
investigation and was questioned by police when the case was reopened.
But in 2002 the Crown Prosecution Service said they did not have enough
evidence to charge him.
The name of Ipswich prostitute murderer, Steve Wright, also
became linked to the case when it transpired that he and Lamplugh had
both worked on the QE2 in the early 1980s and were acquainted.
Lamplugh's disappearance led to the foundation of the Suzy
Lamplugh Trust, which was set up by her mother Diana to raise public
awareness on personal safety issues.
Her father, Paul, now 79, said: "The police have kept me fully
informed and I look forward to further information with interest."