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Murder of Michelle Bettles 28th-31st March 2002

Police in Norfolk have issued an Anniversary Appeal regarding the murder of Michelle Bettles who was last seen alive in Norwich on the evening of the 28th March 2002. Her body was found in Scarning near Dereham on the morning of the 31st March 2002

Details of Incident

Detectives have issued a renewed appeal for information as this week marks 20 years since the murder of Michelle Bettles from Norwich.

Michelle was 22 years old when her body was found by a dog walker in Scarning, near Dereham, on the morning of Sunday 31 March 2002. She had been strangled. Michelle, who operated as a sex worker was last seen in the red-light district of Norwich on the evening of Thursday 28th March 2002.

Michelle unusually had not kept an appointment with a regular client which she had arranged to meet close to her home address in the Dereham Road area of Norwich.

CCTV footage from the evening showed Michelle walking along St Benedict’s Street towards the city centre at 8.20pm, suggesting she never intended to keep the appointment with the regular client as she was heading in the opposite direction to their pre-arranged meeting.

On the morning on Sunday 31 March 2002 Michelle's body was found by a local resident in woodland by the side of a country track known as Rush Meadow Road in Scarning.

A murder investigation was launched at the time but her killer has never been identified.  Major Crime Review Manager, Andy Guy, said: “It is twenty years since the murder of Michelle and I do believe the public have vital information which can help us solve our investigation and give her family some closure.

 As part of a forensic review, we currently have items at the laboratory and seek to identify DNA profiles found in connection with Michelle. This has not been possible before, so I would ask if any person has had legitimate, personal contact with Michelle to come forward and be eliminated. Equally, we are eager to hear from anyone with useful information about the last few days of Michelle’s life.

We know that Michelle had a number of acquaintances in Norwich and I am hoping that over time, situations or allegiances may have changed which will give someone the confidence to provide us with any new information which could be the key in solving Michelle’s murder.

As part of the review, we are also looking at some information that suggests there was a potential sighting of Michelle in the City Road area, walking towards Queens Road just after 10.30pn on the evening of Thursday 28 March. There are also other uncorroborated sightings of her around The Rouen Road, Ber Street area".


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