Manchester

Angel Meadow murder victim: Facial reconstruction revealed

Facial reconstruction
Image caption Police want the public to help identify the woman

Forensic experts have recreated the face of an unknown murder victim in a bid to help detectives identify her.

The skeletal remains of the woman were found by workers at a building site in Angel Meadow, near Manchester city centre, in January 2010.

Police said she had suffered a violent death after post-mortem tests revealed fractures to her neck and jaw.

Detectives have now also revealed that she may have been sexually assaulted and was naked from the waist down.

An anthropology professor created a forensic facial reconstruction and image from the woman's skull, and police are urging people to look closely at the image to see if they recognise her.

Recognisable smile

Tests have established that the woman was aged between 18 and 35 and was born between 1950 and 1954. She is believed to have been killed in the 1970s or 80s.

She was a modern day size 12 and is most likely European but could have come from the Middle East or Indian sub-continents.

She also had a number of fillings in her teeth and had a missing first upper right pre-molar, which would have been visible when she smiled.

Image caption Workmen had been clearing the site for redevelopment when they discovered the remains

Det Ch Insp Joanne Rawlinson, of Greater Manchester Police (GMP), said: "This is the first time we have been able to visualise what this woman looked like and I want the public to look closely at the image and facial reconstruction to see if you recognise or remember her.

"It is vitally important we identify her to give some closure to her family, but also to help us investigate who killed her.

"She was the victim of a violent physical and possible sexual assault and I am determined to find out who she is and who killed her."

The woman's body was found alongside a green pinafore dress with large buttons, a jumper, bra and a pair of stiletto shoes, and a Guinness sign. Three different carpets - orange, blue and dark blue - were also found.

Tobin link inquiry

During the lengthy investigation detectives have revisited old murder inquiries and poured through missing persons lists.

DNA tests have shown that there was no match to two convicted killers, Peter Tobin and Ronald Castree, police said.

Tobin is a multiple murderer and sex offender, while Castree, from Shaw, Oldham, was convicted of the murder of abducted 11-year-old Rochdale schoolgirl Lesley Molseed in 1975.

Examination of dental records has also confirmed that the body is not one of three woman who are still missing: Helen Sage, a 22-year-old mother who disappeared in Rusholme in 1997; Zoe Simpson who vanished from Longsight 15 years ago; or Wigan insurance clerk Helen McCourt who was murdered by pub landlord Ian Simms in 1988.

Police said they are now examining the DNA of 400 other people who have similar profiles to the woman.

As a result of their inquiries, detectives have reunited six people with their families, eliminated 21 missing persons and located a further 46 women.

The reconstruction of the skull was being shown on BBC One's Crimewatch programme at 2100 BST on 24 May.

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