Police appeal for woodland witnesses in Jia murder case

Jia Ashton
Image caption Jia Ashton was last seen leaving work at Thorntons on 10 March

Detectives investigating the murder of a Derbyshire woman say several potential witnesses have not come forward.

Police want anyone who was in Sleetmoor Woods near Somercotes on the day that the body of 25-year-old Jia Ashton was found to contact them.

It is believed she was killed after leaving work at the nearby Thornton's factory on 10 March.

Her body was found in the wood on 13 March after she was reported missing.

Det Ch Supt Steve Cotterill, of Derbyshire Police, said: "The response from the public so far has been fantastic and I'm grateful to everyone who has come forward.

"However, I believe several people who were in the woods between 4pm and 7pm on Thursday, March 10, are yet to speak to officers.

"We know the woods are well used, particularly by dog walkers and joggers, and witnesses have described seeing other people in the woods that day but for whatever reason, these people have not been in touch.

"We would also like to speak to a motorcyclist using the woods that evening. I want to assure them that they are not in any sort of trouble, we just need to find out whether or not they saw anything that could help with our investigation."

Officers have found Mrs Ashton's handbag but said they believed some of her other belongings could still be missing.

Police have said there was no evidence a weapon had been used and there was no apparent sexual assault.

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