Derby

New CCTV images in Jia Ashton murder investigation

CCTV image from Cotes Park Inn
Image caption Police have been trying to trace the man for about two weeks

Police investigating the murder of Thorntons worker Jia Ashton have released fresh CCTV images of a man they want to trace.

Mrs Ashton went missing after leaving the chocolate firm's head office in Somercotes last month. Her body was found in nearby woodland.

Derbyshire Police have been trying to identify a man seen on CCTV in the Cotes Park Inn on Nottingham Road.

No-one has come forward, so the force has renewed the appeal with new images.

More than 90 officers and police staff are investigating the killing of the 25-year-old economics graduate.

Her body was discovered in Sleetmoor Woods on 13 March, three days after she went missing.

Reward offered

Detectives said she had been assaulted, but apparently not sexually, and there was no evidence a weapon had been used.

The man police want to trace was in the Cotes Park Inn on 10 March - the evening Mrs Ashton is believed to have been murdered.

Image caption Police are also looking for a man seen acting suspiciously in the woods

Det Ch Supt Steve Cotterill said: "We'd like to talk to this man who may have information that would help us.

"As I've said before, we are trying to speak to everyone who was in that part of Somercotes around the time Jia disappeared.

"We know this man was in the area at about 6pm and went into the pub. I'd urge him to come forward to speak to us."

The force is also trying to find several other men seen in the area at the time, especially one who was "acting suspiciously" in the woods and who jumped into the undergrowth when spotted by others.

An artist's impression of the athletically-built man has been released.

He was dressed entirely in green, wearing a beanie hat, a thigh-length waterproof walking jacket and combat trousers.

An anonymous benefactor has offered £20,000 for information leading to the conviction of Mrs Ashton's killer.

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