Derbyshire Police eliminate man from Jia murder probe

Artist's impression of man seen in the woods
Image caption One of the men shown in an artist's impression has come forward

Detectives in Derbyshire investigating the murder of Jia Ashton say they have eliminated a man from their inquiries.

He was one of two men they had wanted to find after they were seen in Sleetmore Woods at Somercotes on the night the 25-year-old was killed.

Police said the man - depicted in an artist's impression in a red hooded top - had spoken to them.

But they are still anxious to trace a second man shown in a beanie hat, khaki trousers, a khaki jacket and boots.

Artist's impressions released by police showed him carrying a satchel-type bag over his shoulder with a facial close-up revealing he was not clean-shaven.

Det Ch Supt Steve Cotterill said: "The man (in the red top) has contacted us and we are satisfied that he was in the woods legitimately. He has been eliminated from our inquiries.

"I'm grateful to him for coming forward and I would urge the other man shown in the artist's impression to do the same."

He added: "Somercotes is a fairly low-crime area and Jia's murder has understandably shocked everyone in the local community."

Mrs Ashton was found dead in the woods on 13 March.

It is believed the former economics student, who graduated from the University of Warwick in 2007, was killed after leaving work at the nearby Thornton's factory on 10 March.

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

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