Somerset

Family of murdered Helen Fleet urges 'conscience' search

Helen Fleet Image copyright Avon and Somerset Police
Image caption The body of 66-year-old Helen Fleet was found in woodland near Weston-super-Mare on 28 March 1987

Relatives of a woman who was brutally murdered in 1987 hope someone will "look to their conscience" and come forward, 30 years on from the killing.

Helen Fleet, 66, was beaten, stabbed and strangled while walking her dogs in Worlebury Woods near Weston-super-Mare.

Despite a major investigation no one has ever been charged with her murder.

Although the murder weapon was never recovered police are hopeful forensic advances could shed light on other items found at the time.

Her family told the BBC they still wanted to know what happened to her.

Sister-in-law Ann Harrington said: "It's always there in your mind... it's terrible to live that way.

"She was very tall and regal, a very bright lady who loved everybody. There was nothing mean about her."

Image caption Ann Harrington and her daughter Sophie urged anyone with information to come forward

Last week police re-opened the investigation into the dog walker's death.

Det Sgt Zoe Niccolls, from Avon and Somerset Police, said although no DNA was found at the scene a number of items were recovered.

"We haven't found the knife... but we do have exhibits that we can now do further DNA and forensic testing [on]," she said.

"That area of work has developed dramatically in the last 30 years and there are changes almost every month. There are lots of opportunities left for us."

Image copyright Avon and Somerset Police
Image caption Ms Fleet had driven to Worlebury Woods in her blue Datsun to take her two dogs for a walk
Image copyright Crimewatch 1987
Image caption At the time BBC's Crimewatch put out an appeal they wanted to trace two young boys seen fleeing the scene

Mrs Fleet had driven to the woods in her blue Datsun on the morning of 28 March to take her dogs for a walk. She was last seen alive at 10:50 in Worlebury Hill Road.

The motive for the murder remains unclear, with police saying it was not a robbery and there was no sexual assault.

Three people heard screams and one of her friends, who was also walking in the woods, discovered her body.

Two boys seen fleeing from the scene have never been traced.

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