BBC News

'Thai bride' body found in 2004 on Yorkshire Dales may be relative

By Alex Moss
BBC News

image copyrightNorth Yorkshire Police
image captionA family has come forward to say they believe the woman found in the stream is their missing relative

A Thai family believe a woman who is thought to have been murdered and then dumped in a mountain stream in England is their missing relative.

The body was found by walkers wrapped around rocks near Pen-y-ghent in the Yorkshire Dales in 2004.

Her identity has never been established by North Yorkshire Police but officers think she was a murdered "Thai bride".

A press conference in north-east Thailand heard a family had come forward about a missing relative.

The Udon Thani Provincial Justice Office was told the woman, who the BBC is not naming for legal reasons, married a British man in 1991 and moved to the north-west of England four years later.

Her mother told the Thai Women's Network (TWN), which organised Thursday's press conference, she had not heard from her daughter since 2004.

Reporters were shown photographs of the missing woman alongside an artist's impression of the murder victim that was released by police in Britain.

The TWN said it had passed on the details of the missing woman, including her name and that of her husband, to North Yorkshire Police, which is investigating the latest development.

image copyrightRichard Hill
image captionWhen walker Richard Hill posed for this picture, he did not realise a body was wrapped around the rocks behind him

Cold-case investigators believe the body found in the UK was that of a woman aged between 25 and 35 who was originally from south-east Asia.

Forensic tests on samples of her hair led detectives to think she had been living in a rural community in north Lancashire or south Cumbria.

She was found more than a mile (2km) from the nearest road and was wearing only green jeans, socks and a gold wedding band.

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman confirmed the force's Cold Case Review Unit had received a possible name for the unknown woman.

Inquiries were ongoing to establish her identity, he added.

image copyrightGuzelian
image captionA funeral for the unknown woman was held at St Oswald's Parish Church on 5 September 2007
image captionThe local quarry donated a slab of limestone for the woman's headstone (pictured centre right) which read "The Lady of the Hills"

As no-one came forward to identify the woman after her body was found, the parish council for Horton in Ribblesdale organised her funeral in 2007.

Officials said the village felt "responsibility" towards her, and wanted her to have a final resting place "should her family ever get traced".

More than 40 people attended the funeral in the village graveyard.

The headstone bears the title given to the woman by local people - "The Lady of the Hills".

Related Topics

  • Thailand
  • North Yorkshire Police