Somerset

Melanie Road stabbing: Police examine fresh evidence

New photo released of Melanie Road (left) and her friend Suzy Heap Image copyright AFP
Image caption Melanie Road (left) was stabbed to death as she made her way home after a night out in Bath

Fresh evidence has come to light in the unsolved case of a teenage girl who was stabbed to death and sexually assaulted in Bath almost 30 years ago.

Student Melanie Road was 17 when she was stabbed to death after a night out in June 1984.

An eyewitness has said he saw Miss Road arguing with a man earlier that evening.

Her killer may have been a man who lived either as a student or resident in the city at the time, police said.

Recognised suspect

The information comes from an eyewitness who contacted the police some time after seeing an appeal marking 25 years since Melanie died.

"He recognised that man as someone he'd seen in Bath before," Det Insp Julie Mackay said

"He said he's local, doesn't know his name but he'd definitely seen him in Bath before.

"Maybe he was there as a student, we know that Bath has a very big student community, maybe he was a resident, but certainly in 1984 I think the killer was living in Bath and I think there's a good chance he could still be living there now."

Image copyright other
Image caption Police say they have the full DNA profile of Melanie's killer

Ms Mackay said the argument was seen at the top of the lane that led up from the Farmhouse pub to the top of St Stephen's Road on the night of her murder.

Her body was found on 9 June 1984 in front of some garages nearby.

Police say they have a full DNA profile of the killer.

They have been working through a database of 12,000 male names who were either witnesses or suspects at the time.

So far, some 5,500 names have been eliminated from the inquiry and 250 men have been swabbed since March.

Image copyright other
Image caption Melanie's mother Jean Road has written to the people of Bath for help

Two new photographs of Melanie have been released by her family as part of the 30th anniversary appeal to find her killer.

Her mother, Jean Road, has also written a letter to people in Bath which was printed in a local newspaper.

In it, Mrs Road wrote: "I beg the people of Bath to search their memories of 30 years ago on the 9th of June.

"I know it's a long time ago - to me it's only yesterday. Some people say... let it rest, but I can't."

The letter describes the devastation Melanie's murder wrought on the family and urges people not to protect the killer, "because he also is in need of help".

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