Cambridgeshire

Peterborough killer Rimas Venclovas tracked by sat-nav

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Media captionPolice say Rimas Venclovas carried out a dummy run before the murder

A possessive man who killed his ex-wife and drove her body to Poland in the back of a van thought he had plotted the "perfect murder".

But Rimas Venclovas, who kidnapped and strangled Vitalija Baliutaviciene from a street in Peterborough, was eventually caught out by his satellite navigation system.

Detectives tracked his journey from the Cambridgeshire town to the very spot in western Poland where Vitalija Baliutaviciene was buried.

They also discovered he may have rehearsed a dummy run from his home in Lithuania and might have already had the escape route planned out.

Venclovas, who was found guilty of the murder at the Old Bailey, overpowered Ms Baliutaviciene near her near her home in Burmer Road on 12 August last year.

He walked her to a van parked a few streets away and strangled her.

He then drove to a ferry at Dover and across mainland Europe, hundreds of miles from Peterborough, with her lifeless body in the back.

Image caption Vitalija Baliutaviciene was last seen alive leaving her home in Peterborough

Back in the UK, police searching for her were looking much closer to home and had scoured the Fens.

Divers searched the River Nene and other waters near the B1040 road, north of Whittlesey.

But meanwhile - unknown to Cambridgeshire Police - a mushroom picker in western Poland had found a body of an unidentified woman.

'Possessive man'

When police arrested Rimas, already known to officers for allegedly attacking his ex-wife, his whereabouts on 12 August became apparent after examining his sat-nav.

The equipment showed he crossed the channel to Dunkirk, then drove through France, Belgium, Holland and Germany.

He finally arrived in Poland in the early hours of 13 August, drove to a remote woodland and stayed there long enough to bury a body.

When police realised a body had already been found there, they strongly believed the woman had to be Miss Baliutaviciene and charged Rimas with murder.

The body was finally identified as Miss Baliutaviciene in February this year.

Det Insp Martin Brunning, who led the investigation, said the victim was heading to work when she was "snatched off the street and killed".

"Venclovas is a controlling, possessive man who plotted to kidnap and kill her in chilling detail. He knew her exact movements and planned and carried out what he thought would be the perfect murder," he said.

"He gave no thought to her friends, family or even his own son when he murdered Vitalija and dumped her body in Poland, where he thought she would never be found.

"Indeed, it was only down to many hours of detective work and close partnerships with the Polish police force that she was eventually identified and her family finally given the chance to grieve.

"Otherwise she may have been left in an unidentified pauper's grave many miles from her home and her family left with many unanswered questions about what had happened to her."

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